For centuries we have been studying the brain and mental illness, we have come a long way from early theories, but still a long way from fully understanding it. It is easier for doctors to experiment with the body because they can see what is going on inside with modern technology, but understanding the brain is more complex. But what if, let’s just say for arguments’ sake, we could connect physical deficiencies and aliments within the body, directly to the mind and by fixing the physical symptoms it also corrects the mental symptoms, such as depression. It’s definitely something to ponder.
Let’s first break down the definition of inflammatory, metabolic, & dysregulation. Inflammatory is a localized physical condition that results from an injury or infection. Metabolic is a metabolism condition characterized by high blood pressure, blood clotting, and difficulty with insulin production. Dysregulation is a physiological impairment governing metabolism, immune response, or organ function.
Studies have shown that Inflammatory & Metabolic Dysregulation (IMD) may be associated with a poor response to antidepressants, as well as a correlation with depressive symptoms. IMD involves the C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin. Interleukin is a cytokine (a small protein, peptide, that is important in cell signaling) which may induce depressive symptoms (Physicians’ Weekly). One study showed a primary outcome between CRP and depressive symptoms based on their patient trial.
What is interesting, is that CRP levels are found in the liver. Proteins made by the liver increases when there’s a condition (illness or malfunction) causing inflammation somewhere in the body. When this happens, it may throw off the IL-6, osteoclast, cytokine, and myokine protein levels.
As mentioned above, cytokine are small proteins that are important in cell signaling. Myokine are small proteins that release skeletal muscle cells in response to muscular contractions, IL-6 (Interleukin 6) acts as both a pro-inflammatory cytokine and an anti-inflammatory myokine, and Osteoclast are bone cells that are important in breaking down bone tissue.
Therefore, could there be a direct correlation between inflammation and depressive symptoms; subsequently, what causes our liver to produce too high or too low of levels of CRP? We’ve always known that the brain and body work together; additionally, could there be a connection between depression (or any mental illness) and deficiencies in our body and vice versa? And if so, would it be possible for a patient to take this information from their primary care doctor and share it with their psychiatrist, making a better evaluation, based on the physical body, for a mental diagnosis and treatment. Perhaps, as science continues to expand in research, we may have the key to finding an early treatment prognosis in the mental health industry. One can only hope.