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
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
DEC 01, 2020
Neuroscience
Shorter Reinforcement Delays Make Neurofeedback More Effective
DEC 01, 2020
Shorter Reinforcement Delays Make Neurofeedback More Effective
Researchers at Russia's Higher School of Economics (HSE) have found that reducing delay in neurofeedback (NFB) signi ...
DEC 28, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Does Cannabis Affect Stress in Men and Women Differently?
DEC 28, 2020
Does Cannabis Affect Stress in Men and Women Differently?
Researchers from Washington State University have found that cannabis may blunt the stress response differently in males ...
DEC 30, 2020
Neuroscience
Brain Imaging Predicts Risk of PTSD
DEC 30, 2020
Brain Imaging Predicts Risk of PTSD
Until now, why posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in some and not others following a physical and/ or psychol ...
FEB 20, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Deep Brain Stimulation Offsets Epileptic Seizures
FEB 20, 2021
Deep Brain Stimulation Offsets Epileptic Seizures
Researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany have found that deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the brain’s ...
FEB 25, 2021
Immunology
Two Immune Guardians of the Brain Discovered
FEB 25, 2021
Two Immune Guardians of the Brain Discovered
Most organ systems are protected by a cavalry of immune cells present in the circulation—but not the brain. Consid ...
MAR 11, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Racial Disparities in ADHD Diagnoses
MAR 11, 2021
Racial Disparities in ADHD Diagnoses
Researchers have found significant racial disparities in ADHD diagnoses and treatment: Black, Hispanic, and Asian childr ...
Loading Comments...