Whats new about the Mental Illness and inflammation link ?

Yesterday I presented a study from the Boston Children’s Hospital that proved direct connection between mental illness and inflammation. This is not new, however the study is breaking news. So how does the study change the way we look at mental illness ?

It’s been known for years now that chronic inflammation is the cause of about 90% of the lifestyle diseases that we carry around. Conditions such as acne, colitis, arthritis, any autoimmune disease, type II diabetes, obesity, Alzheimers, Parkinson, ADD/ADHD, Autism etc. has been either proven to be caused by inflammation or worsend by inflammation. Now there’s always been a lot of theory as to wether or not mental illness and inflammation might also go hand in hand – and most doctors who work independently from the pharmaceutical industry has pointed towards inflammation as the root cause of depression, anxiety disorders etc.

In example watch this 8 minute presentation from Dr. Dave Scheiderer, about chronic inflammation and depression and why some people do not have full effect of modern medication.

However the new thing that follows the study from Boston is that now we can actually prove that inflammation causes mental illness. The mentioned study used a mouse model with Lupus, that focused on interferon-alpha a protein cytokine that is released by white blood cells as an alarm response. Previously we’ve thought that Interferon – Alpha did not cross the blood – brain barrier but the new study showed that Interferon – Alpha did exactly that and caused changes in the brain and loss of brain synapses.

This also validates reports saying that a diet of fish oil and high amount of antioxidants has helped people with non complex mental issues.

This is highly interesting in the perspective of developing anti inflammatory mental treatments with no side effects.

The study can be found here

Inflammation linked to mental illness !

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage skin, joints and/ or organs. When someone has Lupus then something goes wrong in the immune system , meaning that the body can’t recognize foreign invaders like bacteria and germs from it’s own healthy tissue and as a result the body starts attacking itself.

lupus, symptoms, inflammation

Up to 75% of those with Lupus develop neuropsychiatric symptoms. However we’ve been quite in the dark as to how Lupus affects the brain, until now. A new study from Boston Children’s Hospital thats been published in Nature has brought more clarification to the matter.

Allison Bialas who worked on the study told to medical Express that in general people with Lupus show symptoms of anxiety, depression, headaches, seizures, even psychosis but it’s only recently been accepted as symptoms of Lupus.

So much the more interesting the study. What they found was that in Lupus causes the body’s white blood celles to release type 1 interferon alpha, a cytokine that acts as an alarm signal and triggering a cascade of immune activity.

Until now it has not been thought that these cytokines was able to cross into the brain – however the new study shows that is the case, and once there it launces microglia which is the immune defense of the Central Nervous System, which caused synapses to be lost in the frontal cortex.

Now why is this study interesting ? Because the way the immune system works is to mark problems and dangers with inflammation, and as such Lupus has now become a model for hos mental illness is caused by an inflammatory response. Michael Caroll, senior author on the study concludes very clearly:”We’ve found a mechanism that directly links inflammation to mental illness,” .

You can find the study by following this link.