The researchers say that even though the study is in its early phase, it may provide a possible alternative cause for depression. Also, the new study could explain why 30 to 50% of the patients who suffer from depression do not respond to medication.
The scientists from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, compared the brain scans of 20 people who do not suffer from depression with the brain scans of 20 patients who suffer from clinical depression.
The researchers found that the patients who suffered from depression revealed an average of 30% more brain inflammation, compared to the healthy patients.
Also, the research revealed that the bigger the inflammation, the more severe the depression was.
The scientists believe the new findings may be very relevant, and are wondering if getting rid of the brain inflammation could eliminate the depression as well.
According to scientists, inflammation is the way the body responds to certain trauma or infection, and can be found in many illnesses.
Reports show that patients with lupus, which is an inflammatory disease, are more likely to develop clinical depression.
The scientists believe that it’s not surprising to find brain inflammation in patients who suffer from depression.
The medical experts believe that some of the patients with depression may have suffered an infection or a trauma but the brain has not recovered from that experience. The scientists say that this could be one of the theories that explain why brain inflammation is linked to depression.
Dr. Margaret McKinnon, neuropsychologist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare, said that the new findings must be applied in a larger study in order to confirm whether there is a link between depression and brain inflammation.
Dr. McKinnon says that it is very important to find out whether the inflammation of the brain happens before the depression settles or because of it.
The new study was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
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