Depression May Be Caused By Infection

There is no such thing as settled science. Ulcers, once thought to be caused by stress, have been discovered to be the result of an infection, no longer treated with a glass of milk and a less stressful job. Now, researchers are investigating depression along similar lines.

Depression is a serious problem, affecting 9.1% of American adults, according to a CDC study.  Anna North, writing in the New York Times, explains:

Turhan Canli, a professor of integrative neuroscience at Stony Brook University, …[is] looking at the possibility that depression could be caused by an infection.

“I’ve always been struck by the fact that the treatment options did not seem to have dramatically improved over the course of decades,” Dr. Canli told Op-Talk. “I always had a feeling that somehow we seem to be missing the actual treatment of the disease.”

He was intrigued by research showing a connection between depression and inflammation in the body, and he started to think about the known causes of inflammation — among them pathogens like bacteria, viruses and parasites.