There are several proposed mechanisms, or causes of depression. They include neurotransmitter hypothesis, HPA dysregulation and immune system activation  in addition to genetic factors . One significant part of the immune immune system involvement is the role of brain inflammation and depression. This article will shed some light on one of many proposed 'causes' of depression, as it really shapes our overall treatment plan.
Clinical Evidence of Brain Inflammation in Depression
We see increased pro-inflammatory cytokines in patients with depression, especially those with treatment resistant depression . A lot of theanti-depressant compounds routinely used to treat depression have anti-inflammatory mechanisms of action, such as fish oil and vitamin D3.
How Does Inflammation Cause Depression?
This has been researched in animal and human models. It appears brain inflammation leads to decreased neurogenesis, or the formation of new neuronal cells and pathways. One of the causes of this is the pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1-B. Several studies show there are increased pro-inflammatory cytokines in the peripheral and spinal fluid of depressed individuals. There is also evidence showing inflammation can reduce serotonin availability . If you remember neurotransmitter dysfunction is one of the theories of depression.
How Do We Treat Depression?
At Absolute Health and Wellness, we try to help those suffering from depression with a well-rounded approach. For some people that includes seeing our counsellor, who works with patients using various tools including CBT. For other people it may be seeing one of our naturopaths who can use things like vitamin D3, St. Johns Wort, Acupuncture or other tools. Some patients may benefit from seeing a combination of the two. If you’re looking for some help in managing Depression, give our clinic a call.
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About the Author - Dr. Johann de Chickera
Dr. Johann is a fully licensed Naturopathic Doctor. His approach emphasizes the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and improving one’s health naturally. Dr. Johann obtained a Doctor of Naturopathy at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Education at CCNM is a vigorous four years, with a curriculum involving biomedical sciences, physical diagnosis, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, botanical (herbal) medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy and lifestyle management.
While Dr. Johann has a general practice, he focuses on fertility, hormonal imbalances, gut health, and autoimmune disease.
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