Inflammation causing depression?: Hi All, I only... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Inflammation causing depression?


Hi All,

I only caught a part of Professor Edward Bullmore being interviewed about his new book on BBC Breakfast today and thought it might be of interest to some on this forum. I have no views on this and don’t suffer from depression so am not commenting.

This is one of the comments regarding the book which links auto-immune conditions to depression and other neurological problems.

‘A great read, this thought provoking book presents inflammation as the major driver of depression. A real page turner that raises important questions for us all, including, how we should practise medicine going forwards and can we restart Research and Development using this paradigm? Highly recommended’. -Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England

Book is called The Inflamed Mind

3 Replies

Hi. Hmm. He makes an odd assumption. All that inflammation is is the body repairing itself or defending itself. There is always a cause of inflammation, that of which could likely be the real source of depression or depressive-like symptoms. I think that professor needs to critically think about exactly what inflammation is, why it happens, what causes it...before he assumes that depression is caused by inflammation.

Inflammation is the result of the body defending itself from attacks by antibodies, allergens, bacteria, viruses; repairing itself from injury or trying to repair itself from invaders listed in the preceding part of this sentence, etc. Acute inflammation is short term (good). Chronic inflammation is long term (bad), ongoing and can encompass your entire body and systems. Something always causes the inflammation. Chances are, the cause of the inflammation: injury, illness, damaged organs, an autoimmune attack, constantly high antibodies, damaged tissues from autoimmunity, disrupted hormones from damaged tissues and autoimmunity, pain from all of the above...can cause depression, not inflammation itself causing depression. Again, all that inflammation is is the body trying to repair itself or defend itself.

Hypothyroidism causes depression. It also causes inflammation. I've always found that doctors have a problem with deciding which goes first - the horse or the cart?

The only time in my life I have suffered with depression was when severly undermedicated. As soon as my dose was increased it gradually lifted until I am now tsh suppressed and feeling fine though the doctor is a bit shaky about it

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