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Inflammation fuels depression flames

Washington : According to a recent study, chronic inflammation can fan the flames of depression, much like throwing gasoline on a fire.

The study from Rice University and Ohio State University reviewed 200 existing papers on depression and inflammation.

The authors found that in addition to being linked to numerous physical health issues, including cancer and diabetes, systemic inflammation is linked to mental health issues such as depression. Among patients suffering from clinical depression, concentrations of two inflammatory markers, CRP and IL-6, were elevated by up to 50 percent.

Co-author Christopher Fagundes said chronic inflammation is most common in individuals who have experienced stress in their lives, including lower socio-economic status or those who experienced abuse or neglect as children. Other contributing factors are a high-fat diet and high body mass index.

Fagundes noted that a strong support system early in life is critical in helping individuals learn to deal with stress later in life.

The study also found that depression caused by chronic inflammation is resistant to traditional therapy methods, but can be treated with activities such as yoga, meditation NSAIDS and exercise.

Fagundes hopes the study will shed light on the dangers of bodily inflammation and the steps that can be taken to overcome this health issue.

The study appears in American Journal of Psychiatry. (ANI)