Depression is fast emerging to be one of the most common medical concerns across the globe. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is a disorder characterized by negative frame of mind, which negatively impacts the way you think and act. According to a latest study, long term depression can alter brain and manifest into many other brain-related disorders. The study said that untreated depression, lasting more than a decade, had significantly more brain inflammation compared to those who had less than 10 years of untreated depression.
"Greater inflammation in the brain is a common response with degenerative brain diseases as they progress, such as with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease," said co-author of the study, Jeff Meyer from Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Ontario, Canada.
The study published journal, The Lancet Psychiatry was provides first biological evidence for large brain changes in long-lasting depression.
The researchers also reinforced the importance of assessing and alysing depression at different stages. As different stage of illness needs different therapeutics -- the same perspective taken for early and later stages of Alzheimer's disease, the researcher said.
For the study, the researchers analysed a group of people with more than 10 years of depression, another group with less than 10 years of depression along with a group of people with no depression as a comparison group.
The researchers studied the peculiar brain inflammation using a type of brain imaging called positron emission tomography (PET).
The findings revealed that the brain's immune cells, known as microglia, are involved in the brain's normal inflammatory response to trauma or injury, but too much inflammation could be associated with other degenerative illnesses as well as depression.
The researchers explained when microglia are activated, they make more translocator protein (TSPO), a sort of a marker of inflammation that can be seen using PET imaging.
TSPO levels were about 30 per cent higher in different brain regions among those with persistent depression, compared to those with shorter periods of untreated depression or the group with no depression.
There may not be a sure shot cure for depression, but there is a possibility to slow it down and manage it better. Your diet may play a crucial role in doing so. Here are some foods you must include in your diet if you are facing depression.
1. Complex carbohydrates: Include foods that are rich in complex carbs in your diet like whole grains and brown rice. A lot of studies have shown that low carb diets have been linked to nervousness, anxiety, decreased concentration and insomnia.
2. Vitamin D: A deficiency of this nutrient if often linked with mood swings and depression. Add natural sources of Vitamin D like mushrooms, eggs and soy milk to your diet.
3. Antioxidants: Antioxidants can help in reducing the oxidative stress on your mental health. Berries and foods like cherries, grapes and dark leafy greens are your best bet.
4. Good quality proteins: Protein rich foods are known to boost alertness. Some of them contain an amino acid called tryptophan which helps your body make the mood boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Peas, beans, soya, lentils and paneer are good options and so are chicken and fish.
Your diet is only a part of managing depression. If you are dealing with severe depression, you must take your physicians and medications serioouly. Regular exercising or moderate physical activity has also been linked to reducing symptoms of depression.
(With Inputs from IANS)