Depression, Anhedonia, Glutamate, and Inflammation

Peter Forster Basic Science, Major Depression, Psychobiology

That depression may be linked to alterations in glutamate circuits is suggested by the observation that ketamine (which is an NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist) may rapidly reverse depression in some patients. Depression has also been found to be associated in some people with various markers for inflammation (c reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 1 beta, and interleukin 6). As …

Depression and Inflammation: Treatment Options

Peter Forster Major Depression, Physical Conditions and Health, Treatments of Depression

A host of conditions have been associated with mild to moderate levels of inflammation in the body. Depression is one of these. Elsewhere in this blog we have discussed the relationship between depression and inflammation, evidence that treatment with an antidepressant (escitalopram) reduces inflammation in depression, and talked about how exercise prevents depression. We have also noted that elevated levels of inflammation (simple …

Depression and Inflammation

Peter Forster Basic Science, Major Depression, Psychobiology

Is depression one of a series of illnesses caused by inflammation? There has been a lot of interest in the last year in the idea that inflammation (activation of the body’s immune system) might be a cause as well as a consequence of depression. One theory suggests that depression might be an inflammatory disorder, rather than a disorder of altered neurotransmitter levels. Certainly …

Escitalopram Reduces Inflammation in Depression

Peter Forster Major Depression, Physical Conditions and Health, Psychobiology, Treatments of Depression

Escitalopram reduces inflammation in depression and potentially reduces neurotoxicity according to an article just published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. A pro-inflammatory tendence has previously been noted in patients with depression, and this seems to be associated strongly with increases in kynurenine (see below for more information on how exercise counteracts this tendency). Kynurenine is the first step in …

Another Blood Test for Depression

Peter Forster Diagnosis, Major Depression, Testing

We ran across a recent article that promised a “blood test for depression” and thought how strange it was that this article was being republished in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.  After all we wrote about a blood test for depression based on an article that appeared in translational psychiatry just a few months ago. Imagine my surprise when I …

Methylfolate and Depression

Peter Forster Major Depression, Treatments of Depression

Depression and Methylfolate The role of methylfolate in the treatment of patients with depression has once again been highlighted by an article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2016. After successfully treating treatment resistant depression in a patient deficient in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tetrahydrobiopterin (necessary for biosynthesis of several neurotransmitters) with sapropterin (a synthetic form of tetrahydrobiopterin’s active isomer), …