Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Study: Rates of depression are higher than currently known

The results of a recent study using a tool to assess gene expression involved in a patient’s immune response show that the number of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) is higher than currently known, and that their disease is often underdiagnosed by their diagnosis. Overactive immune systems.

Efforts by the team at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Neurology (IoPPN) are paving the way to better identify these patients, identify the molecular mechanisms underlying this association, and provide a more precise approach to treatment and management. This disorder.

The research, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, builds on earlier findings indicating an active immune response in many people with major depressive disorder.

However, most previous research has focused on levels of inflammation-related proteins such as C-reactive protein (CRP), suggesting that 21 percent to 27 percent of people with depression have an active immune system, but CRP levels do not. Full picture of that answer..

“This evidence contributes to our knowledge of depression associated with an active immune system,” Luca Sforzeni, the study’s first researcher, said in a statement to the institute’s website on Wednesday. Certain medications are compatible with their conditions, particularly interventions that target the immune system.

The new study, published on the company’s website (Wednesday), aims to monitor broader immune characteristics not captured by CRP levels. This protein is one of the proteins produced by the liver during inflammation in the body, as the liver begins to overproduce it to eliminate foreign microbes, which is one of the indicators of inflammation measured in the blood. However, this analysis is a general test and does not specifically detect inflammation.

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A previous study on depression obtained biomarkers from 168 participants, 128 of whom had confirmed major depressive disorder, and were divided into three subgroups according to their CRP levels.

The researchers analyzed the expression of 16 genes.

Gene expression is the first step in a normal biological process by which the information contained in our genes influences the formation of our characteristics and behavior.

When MDD patients were compared with those without elevated CRP levels, there were no differences in the expression of 16 genes, indicating that this pattern of gene expression was independent of CRP levels, possibly behind another different mechanism.

The researchers performed another analysis on all participants (both undiagnosed and depressed) whose CRP values ​​were below 1, meaning they were not considered to have any inflammation.

The researchers found that participants with depression and low levels of protein C had significantly higher expression of immune genes compared to those not yet diagnosed with depression.

“Previous research focused on levels of C-reactive protein in severely depressed people, a known marker of inflammation but also part of the immune response,” said Professor Carmine Barriente, professor of biological psychology at the Institute and lead author of the study. .

He explained: “Our study succeeded in broadening this focus and showed that even in those who did not catch inflammation by measuring the CRP test, there is immunity in the genes of patients with the disease independent of CRP levels. This means that the process of increased immunity and immune activation is more common in depressed patients than thought. has

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He added, “These important findings will allow us to identify the molecular pathways involved in depression and identify people with different types of immune responses, which will pave the way for more targeted treatment approaches.”

“These findings will help current and future research improve the characterization of depressed individuals based on their immunological profiles, and provide more effective clinical strategies for the large population that does not benefit from current antidepressants,” Sforgeni added.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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