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Severe Depression linked with Inflammation in the Brain

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Severe Depression linked with Inflammation in the Brain: Inflammation is the immune system's natural response to infection or disease. The body often uses inflammation to protect itself, such as when an ankle is sprained and becomes inflamed, and the same principle also applies to the brain. However, too much inflammation is unhelpful and can be damaging.

Increasingly, evidence is suggesting that inflammation may drive some depressive symptoms, such as low mood, loss of appetite and reduced ability to sleep.

What the new study set out to investigate was whether inflammation is a driver of clinical depression independent of other physical illness.

Researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's (CAMH) Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, used positron emission tomography (PET) to scan the brains of 20 patients with depression and 20 healthy control participants.

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