"How Does Long-Term Depression Alter The Brain"

Amongst so many health conditions, we have a common mental health problem known as depression. When it occurs to us, it brings to us different phases of mental variations such as sadness, feeling inferior, loss of interest towards life, and no interest to perform any chores of daily activities. These are some of the feeling of mental state which we are well aware of. But, if they are going to persist for long, and interferes with our life, it is nothing but depression.

Since, this mental condition is worsening with growing age, and affecting the brain so badly, scientists are on a constant search to find effective treatment procedures to adapt to the changing pattern of this disease.

Any clinical mental deterioration follows the same treatment procedures if the disease is short term or long-term. As per the recent study published by researchers at Canada’s Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), they have found a noteworthy clinical variable about the mental disorder. An aggressive and a persistent depression are likely to change the brain. This finding could throw a light on our perspective into how we ascertain this disease, and how it develops over time.

The Finding Of The Study
The level of inflammation was measured using positron emission tomography on the brains of the patients with depression. The study found the higher amount of inflammation in the brains of patients without any treatment for over a decade, while patients with untreated depression less than a decade found to have less amount of inflammation in their brains.

The study established some potential for the development of fruitful treatment options for more aggressive and adamant type of depression so as to restrict its spread and turning a shape of dementia and Alzheimer’s later.

The study proved further that if depression is to stay for a long time, it may bring an extensive and a permanent change to the brains. This is a milestone for the research head Dr. Jeff Meyer as the finding is helpful to bring about new medicinal therapies to cure depression of different phases. Simultaneously, it showed how it is different to treat the patients diagnosed with depression within a short period of time as opposed to the patients with the condition for 10 long years.

Since long-term depression advances to match its neurological effects, scientists want to develop a new approach to treat long-term depression patients.

How The Study Conducted
Patients with depression for a more than a decade, patients with the symptoms for less time and patients with no signs of depression as a control group take part in the study. The study observed the effects of TSPO secreted due to the inflammation in the brain. It is found that the higher level of TSPO is released due to the long-lasting depression, which is nowhere close to the shorter periods of depression and those control groups.
While depression affects the brain over the time, it could be a degenerative condition for the brains, so the treatment process of Alzheimer’s will be applicable to depression as well.