SEP 16, 2020 9:30 AM PDT

Blood Lipid Levels Predict Depression and Anxiety

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

While people often experience anxiety and depression together, psychiatrists classify them as different disorders. And now, there is biochemical evidence for this. 

In a study, researchers from the Netherlands Study of Anxiety and Depression collected blood samples from 304 people with depression, 548 people with anxiety, 531 people with both conditions, 807 with remitted disorders, and 634 healthy individuals. 

They then searched for links between 40 metabolites found in the blood and symptoms of depression and anxiety with a nuclear magnetic resonance detector. 

In the end, the researchers made two major discoveries. The first was that those with depression tended to have greater inflammation than those with anxiety. 

They also found that those with depression and anxiety have very different levels and types of lipids in their blood. While depressed people had higher levels of triglycerides and lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids, those with anxiety had lipid levels similar to those in the healthy group. The researchers also noted that depression severity tended to correlate with the presence of depression-associated metabolites. 

Ultimately, they hope that their findings will go on to inform new treatments for depression and anxiety. To this end, they are now planning to test whether anti-inflammatory drugs are effective in treating people with depression. 

“This is an important finding for several reasons. First, it identifies easy-to-measure blood biomarkers characterizing a subtype of depression whose underlying mechanism is specific and will probably need an appropriate treatment. “ says Dr. Philippe Nuss from l’Hopital Saint-Antoine, Paris. 

“It also emphasizes the fact that mental disorders should be seen in a whole-body perspective where major regulatory physiological systems such as immunity and lipid metabolism are involved. In addition, both immunity and lipids are strongly involved in brain metabolism.”

 

Sources: Medical XpressNeuroscience News

 

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
AUG 21, 2021
Neuroscience
Is Humor the Best Way to Deliver Public Health Interventions?
AUG 21, 2021
Is Humor the Best Way to Deliver Public Health Interventions?
Humor is an effective way to deliver public health interventions and influence people’s behavior around their heal ...
AUG 30, 2021
Health & Medicine
For the love of java: Researchers find association, not causation, between excessive coffee consumption, brain size, and dementia
AUG 30, 2021
For the love of java: Researchers find association, not causation, between excessive coffee consumption, brain size, and dementia
Researchers find association, not causation, between excessive coffee consumption, brain size, and dementia
SEP 28, 2021
Plants & Animals
Eating Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Help People With Bipolar Disorder
SEP 28, 2021
Eating Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Help People With Bipolar Disorder
Diet can affect your health in many ways, both physically and mentally. For example, some research suggests that diets h ...
OCT 03, 2021
Health & Medicine
Why Did a Town Start Putting People on Trial for Witchcraft?
OCT 03, 2021
Why Did a Town Start Putting People on Trial for Witchcraft?
In early 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, the daughter and niece of Reverend Samuel Parris began to writhe, roar, contort, ...
OCT 04, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Studies Reveal Synaptic Disruptions in Schizophrenia
OCT 04, 2021
Studies Reveal Synaptic Disruptions in Schizophrenia
Neurons signal to one another at crucial junctions called synapses, and synaptic dysfunction is thought to play a role i ...
OCT 06, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Signs of Huntington's Disease in Early Embryonic Development
OCT 06, 2021
Signs of Huntington's Disease in Early Embryonic Development
Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that's caused by mutations in the huntingtin gene. People can be di ...
Loading Comments...