Long-term depression causes inflammation in key brain regions, shows CAMH study
Depression is one of the most common mental disorder affecting a major population in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately one in six American adults suffers from this problem, varying in the degree of severity. Irrespective of the severity and duration of the condition, the treatment options include medications, therapy and self-help groups.
A new research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, provides a greater insight into the problem of depression by highlighting that long-term untreated depression last more than a decade causes more brain inflammation compared to others. Generally, people suffering from degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson´s disease witness the problem of inflammation in the brain. The finding of the study reveals that long-term depression is a progressive disease.
The brain imaging research, led by senior author Dr. Jeff Meyer of the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) revealed that it is important to change the way people look at depression as the condition alters the brain if it persists for long.
Excessive brain inflammation increases the risk of chronic illnesses
The study sample was a small group of 80 participants that included 25 people with more than 10 years of depression, 25 with less than 10 years of illness and 30 with no depression at all. The technique of positron emission tomography (PET) was used to measure the level of brain inflammation in the participants. This was identified by locating the presence of a specific type of protein that the human brain develops due to its inflammatory response to any kind of injury or illness.
It is important to know that the appropriate level of inflammation in the brain protects an individual from all sort of diseases, as well as helps the body repair in case of an injury. However, an excessive inflammation can lead to chronic illnesses like heart diseases and even neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. On conducting the study, it was found that the level of translocator protein (TSPO), an indicator of inflammation, was 30 percent higher in the brain regions of individuals with long-term untreated depression. The level was low in those not suffering from depression or with short-term untreated depression.
The researchers found that the level of TSPO was higher in some of the vital brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, responsible for the maintenance of reasoning and other executive functions. The corroboration of the above finding on the basis of more relevant studies will enable people to associate depression with degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Finding effective treatment options is necessary
The above finding confirms the classification of depression as a biological disorder of the brain. Any kind of lackadaisical attitude toward the treatment of long-term depression will lead to adverse consequences on the brain. Like other neurodegenerative diseases, researchers suspect that depression can severely damage the brain tissue. In the wake of the above finding, it becomes necessary to develop the right treatment options. The study also assists in removing the stigma attached to depression.
It is essential to find and implement the right form of treatment to ensure that an individual does not have to deal with the hazardous effects of depression for a long period of time. He or she must seek an expert’s help immediately so that the best suitable plan can be designed to ensure his or her complete recovery. If you or someone you know is dealing with depression and looking for treatment centers for depression in Texas, the Texas Depression Treatment Help can assist you in getting in touch with some of the best depression recovery centers. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-827-0282 or chat online with one of our experts to get in touch with the best treatment facility near you.