it affects the whole body — ScienceDaily

An international team of researchers led by the University of Granada (UGR) has demonstrated, for the first time, that depression is more than a mental disorder: it causes significant alterations in oxidative stress, so it should be considered a systemic disease, because it affects the whole organism.

The results of this work could explain the significant association between depression and cardiovascular disease and cancer, and why people with depression die younger. At the same time, this research may help find new therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of depression.

The main author of this work is Sara Jiménez Fernández, doctoral student at the UGR and psychiatrist at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit of the Jaén Medical Center (Jaén, Spain). The co-authors are UGR professors of psychiatry Manuel Gurpegui Fernández de Legaria and Francisco Díaz Atienza, in collaboration, among others, with Christoph Correll from Zucker Hillside Hospital (New York, USA).

A study of 3961 people

This research is a meta-analysis of 29 previous studies involving 3961 people, and is the first detailed work of its kind on what is going on in the body of people with depression. He is studying the imbalance between the individual increase in different oxidative stress parameters (including malondialdehyde, a biomarker for measuring oxidative deterioration of the cell membrane) and the decrease in antioxidant substances (such as uric acid, zinc and l superoxide dismutase enzyme).

Researchers have demonstrated that after receiving the usual treatment for depression, patients’ malondialdehyde levels are significantly reduced, to the point that they are indistinguishable from healthy individuals. At the same time, zinc and uric acid levels rise to normal levels (which does not occur in the case of the enzyme superoxide dismutase).

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