The number of scientists claiming that depression is a result of chronic inflammation is on the rise, and apparently, inflammation has a huge impact on mental health.
Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of these links, which analyzed the effects of inflammation on behavior. The journal Neuropsychopharmacology published a 2012 study which found that:
“Elevated biomarkers of inflammation, including inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase proteins, have been found in depressed patients, and administration of inflammatory stimuli has been associated with the development of depressive symptoms.
Data also have demonstrated that inflammatory cytokines can interact with multiple pathways known to be involved in the development of depression, including monoamine metabolism, neuroendocrine function, synaptic plasticity, and neurocircuits relevant to mood regulation …
Psychosocial stress, diet, obesity, a leaky gut and an imbalance between regulatory and pro-inflammatory T cells also contribute to inflammation and may serve as a focus for preventative strategies relevant to both the development of depression and its recurrence.”
These studies regard depression as a result of the attempts of the body to fight the inflammatory response and to involve hormones and neurotransmitters. The most common symptoms of depression linked to inflammation include metabolic changes, mood changes, avoidance, slowed thinking, and alterations in perception.