29 Aug 2019

Depression, Inflammation and Depression in Females

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For women in particular, it seems higher levels of inflammation can lead to an underlying condition that fuels depression.

That condition is called anhedonia, defined as a markedly decreased interest or pleasure in almost all activities.  Even situations that formerly gave pleasure, like visiting certain places, taking part in social activities, and even eating certain foods.

Women are roughly twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as men

A recent in a recent study researchers induced inflammation in participants with a substance called endotoxin.

Two hours later, when inflammation was peaking, the participants played a game designed to build their anticipation of a cash reward while their brains were scanned in an fMRI machine.

The results showed that compared to those receiving a placebo, the brains of women with the biggest inflammatory response to endotoxin also had the biggest decrease in activity in the “reward centre” of the brain. The same result wasn’t found in men.

The study suggests that women with chronic inflammatory disorders may be particularly vulnerable to developing depression through decreases in sensitivity to reward.

Herbal medicines that can support those suffering from depression include St. John’s Wort, Withania, Magnolia, Brahmi and Rosemary.