Study Examines Relationship Between Depression, Inflammation

Many studies investigating the different aspects of both depression and inflammation have identified possible links between these two health concerns, but greater research into the precise relationship has been needed for some time. While these seemingly disparate issues have been connected by several researchers in the past, the need for an exploration of the interactions between depression and inflammation, as well as a look at which condition is responsible for initiating the relationship, has proved a challenge in both the mental health and the medical academic communities. Answering the call for deeper research into this conundrum, a study performed at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has delved into the existence of depression and inflammation in the modern population, and has emerged with some exciting results.

The research team sought to answer the basic, yet challenging question of whether the presence of inflammatory proteins in the body was an indication and possible cause of the development of depression, or whether the presence of depression within a given client could spawn the creation of inflammatory proteins. After extensive study spanning the course of six years and including long-term participant surveys, the researchers found that while depression could, in a sense, predict the creation of inflammatory proteins, the inverse was not true.

The study related the risk of heart issues to depression, it noted that the risk of medical complications for clients exhibiting depression was similar to those associated with smoking and other common causes for heart disease. While the links between inflammatory proteins and the presence of depression continue to warrant research, the overriding question of the nature of the originating relationship between these two health concerns has been largely addressed by this ambitious study.

© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Nathan


    October 17th, 2009 at 2:04 AM

    Depression is dangerous territory as there always seems to be a negative associated to it and weakening the individuals under depression…

  • Frank


    October 17th, 2009 at 5:18 AM

    Yes, depression does a lot of harm, not only in the psychological sense, but also in the physical sense… you don’t see people who are sad and under depression looking attractive, do you? It is quite natural as there are several things that are pulling the person down and hence the ill-effects.

  • Tim


    October 18th, 2009 at 2:41 AM

    It has been long said that depression causes a lot of problems, not only at the emotional level but also physically. This should be conveyed to people who are under depression and hopefully will encourage them to seek help and get out of their depressive environment.

  • Shannon


    October 18th, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    I have witnessed many family members struggle with depression although thankfully I have never experienced it for myself. I see what a huge toll dealing with depression places on the body so it does not surprise me one bit to read that there are things going on in your body when you are depressed that you do not think about or even know about. The last thing I am sure that is on your mind when you are depressed is whether or not internally your body is respoonding with the production of inflammatory proteins. maybe this is a defense mechanism or just another way that the body breaks down when depression steps in.

  • Douglus


    October 19th, 2009 at 8:42 AM

    I didn’t have the slightest idea that depression would cause inflammation. All I knew was people would get dark circles under their eyes due to depression. More reasons to stay well away from depression I guess… :)

  • Brenda Kofford

    Brenda Kofford

    April 4th, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    After 30+ years of chronic pain, the most effective med routine I have found ( mood and pain) is the day after I have followed a prednisone routine of one before breakfast, one after lunch, and one at bedtime. Anti-depressant medications and pain medications, for mre, have never been effective and only serve to disconnect me from self, others, and the world.

    This has me question the generally accepted practice of psych meds for pain and depression.

    Is there a danger in maintaining a 3-a-day routine of prednisone?

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Title   Content   Author is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on