Depression Symptoms May Be Tied to Systemic Inflammation

depression and covid G 1216160906 e1639577875760 — Emotional Well-being, Mental Health, Psychiatrists, Psychologists

Some, but not all, symptoms of depression may well stem from systemic inflammation according to a pooled evaluation published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Biomarker analysis has revealed a connection amongst systemic inflammation and depression. In addition, researchers suspect pro-inflammatory systemic cytokines influence depression associated endocrine functioning and neurotransmitter metabolism by crossing the blood brain barrier or by activating the vagus nerve.

A multicohort study of more than 56,000 folks addressed the connection amongst systemic inflammation and depression additional. Researchers identified 15 massive cohort research that involved adults and addressed circulating inflammatory biomarkers, depressive symptoms and covariates such as smoking status, alcohol consumption, chronic illness, and “adverse” childhood experiences.

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After adjusting for illness, socioeconomic and behavioral danger elements, the researchers identified higher C-reactive protein levels had been “robustly” linked with 4 physical symptoms (adjustments in appetite, felt every little thing was an work, could not get going or loss of power, sleep troubles), 2 cognitive symptoms (problems concentrating, small interest in performing issues/unmotivated), and 1 emotional symptom (felt depressed). High IL-6 levels had been linked with a lot of of these very same symptoms.

The researchers also identified proof against an association amongst systemic inflammation and other emotional symptoms, which includes fearfulness, feeling bothered by issues, hopelessness about the future, and feeling life had been a failure.

While the massive sample size and use of many inflammatory markers make for a sturdy study, use of observational information is a limitation. In addition, systemic inflammation was measured only at baseline and depression symptoms had been self-reported. Furthermore, repeated measurements could have yielded more useful data.

“Our findings may pave the way toward a new inflammatory depression phenotype and can guide systematic efforts to develop novel inflammation targeted treatments,” the researchers conclude. “Patient recruitment to future anti-inflammatory drug trials should be based on symptom profiles characterized by the inflammation related depressive symptoms observed in this study.”


Frank P, Jokela M, Batty GD, Cadar D, Steptoe A, Kivimäki M. Association Between Systemic Inflammation and Individual Symptoms of Depression: A Pooled Analysis of 15 Population-Based Cohort Studies. Am J Psychiatry. Published on the web October 14, 2021. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2021.20121776

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