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 GoodTherapy.org.
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