Could anti-inflammatory drugs be used to treat depression and Alzheimer's?

The researchers noticed that many people with rheumatoid arthritis also suffer from depression and surmised it’s possible that inflammatory chemicals interrupt the brain’s production of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter linked to mood.

    2016/09/07

NSFW    LONDON — A group of scientists in the United Kingdom is investigating whether targeting the immune system could treat mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

The researchers, a working group named Neuroimmunology of Mood Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease, have discovered possible links between inflammation and mood disorders, suggesting that they could be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Inflammation is the body’s biological response to injury or infection. If not properly controlled, it can lead to diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers have discovered a large number of people with rheumatoid arthritis also suffer from depression. It is possible that inflammatory chemicals interrupt the brain’s production of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter linked to mood.

Scientists are investigating whether targeting the immune system could treat mood disorders, such as depression and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.

The precise type of inflammation that may cause mood disorders and the anti-inflammatory drugs best suited to treating it still under research.
PET scans of the brain showing different activity levels in a person with depression, compared to a person without depression. WEBMD
PET scans of the brain showing different activity levels in a person with depression, compared to a person without depression. WEBMD
Prof Ed Bullmore, head of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge is at the foreground of this new approach. BBC
Prof Ed Bullmore, head of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge is at the foreground of this new approach. BBC
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