With two decades of literature supporting the cytokine theory of depression, we finally have the first study examining “proteomic changes” or inflammatory markers in unmedicated patients. Observations of depression induced by pharmaceuticals designed to rev up the inflammatory response, and relief from those designed to diminish it have dovetailed with data suggesting that inflammatory cytokines and chemokines are linearly and predictively correlated with depressive illness.
In this study, two cohorts of patients were examined for an interesting (but curiously incomplete) array of markers. They found evidence of innate immune response activation, stating:
This study showed evidence of pro-inflammatory changes (i.e. ceruloplasmin, EN-RAGE, ferritin, haptoglobin-related protein, IL-1 ra, IL-16, MIF, serotransferrin and tenascin-C) in first onset MDD patients.
If we start to look at depression as a multiplex of relationships between the gut, endocrine, and immune system, we open up our opportunity for prevention and for treatment through lifestyle change. Read more about these theories and related interventions here!
Inflammation Begets Depression: New Data