facebook twitter twitter tiktok   donate

FOUNDER ZANE WILSON

For Queries Zane@sadag.org

HELPLINE NUMBERS

24-HOUR TOLL-FREE EMERGENCY HELPLINES

Suicide Crisis Helpline
0800 567 567

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Helpline
0800 12 13 14
SMS 32312

Cipla Mental Health Helpline
0800 456 789
SMS 31393

NPOwer SA Helpline
0800 515 515
SMS 43010

Healthcare Workers Care Network Helpline
0800 21 21 21
SMS 43001

UFS #Fair Kitchens Chefs Helpline
0800 006 333

8AM-8PM TOLL-FREE HELPLINES

Dr Reddy’s Mental Health Helpline
0800 21 22 23

Adcock Ingram Depression & Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90

ADHD Helpline
0800 55 44 33

Pharma Dynamics Police & Trauma Helpline
0800 20 50 26

8AM-8PM SADAG OFFICE NUMBER

SADAG
011 234 4837

Counselling Queries
zane@sadag.org (Founder)

WHATSAPP NUMBERS

8AM – 5PM

Cipla Mental Health
076 882 2775

Maybelline BraveTogether
087 163 2030

Ke Moja Substance Abuse
087 163 2025

Have Hope Chat Line
087 163 2050

UNIVERSITY LINES

student shaming

EMERGENCY Contact Numbers for Students in South Africa - Click here

REQUEST A CALLBACK

counsellor button

Request a Callback from a Counsellor
Click here

SUPPORT GROUPS

Website_Button.png

SADAG has over 160 free Support Groups. To find out more about joining or starting a Support Group click here.

Mental Health Calendar 2024

2023 Mental Health Calendar

To view our Mental Health Calendar
click here

QUESTIONNAIRES

questionnaire infographic

Do You want to check your Mental Health?

Click here for questionnaires

Inflammation may also increase with older age. Inflammation can be described as the body’s usual response to injury or infection. For example, if a person injures a finger, the finger will become swollen, red, and painful. The swollen, red, and painful feelings are a result of inflammation, caused by several chemicals that the body’s defense system releases. These chemicals, called inflammatory mediators, are released by several types of blood cells. As scientists have learned more about inflammation, they have found that the body often produces inflammatory mediators without any clear evidence of injury to the body. When inflammatory mediator levels remain high in the bloodstream over a long period of time, they appear to produce changes in the blood vessels. More recent research suggests that inflammation is an important risk factor for heart attack and increasing evidence suggests that inflammation affects the brain as well.

Background

Inflammatory mediators in the bloodstream can affect the brain directly, and may also cause the brain to stimulate the release of hormones. One example of this occurs when these mediators affect the part of the brain that sends out signals to the adrenal gland to make hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that has been associated with depression. Previous studies of depression have shown that increased inflammatory mediators are associated with increased depression. A group of researchers decided to examine several inflammatory mediators in the elderly to determine if there was a connection between inflammation and depression in this age group.

What the researchers did

The researchers surveyed several thousand people aged 70-79 and asked them questions about their levels of depression. They also recorded data for other variables such as medical illnesses and medications the people were taking. The researchers then examined the relationship between three different inflammatory markers and rates of depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms were studied using questionnaires so the method was a little different than if psychiatrists had interviewed each person. The researchers tried to rule out or control for influences of medical problems or medications.

What the researchers found

The researchers discovered that high levels of inflammation were associated with higher levels of depression. They found that having high levels of two of the inflammatory mediators was associated with more depression than having high levels of one inflammatory mediator. In the people who had high levels of at least two inflammatory markers, the rates of depression were about two and one-half times higher.

Discussion

Overall, this is an interesting, well-designed, and important study that links inflammation to depression in the elderly. One important limitation to this study is that it doesn’t prove that inflammation causes depression. It may be the other way around. Changes in the brain associated with depression might cause inflammation, leading to an association between depression and increased inflammatory markers. But, it’s my opinion that inflammation leads to changes in the blood vessels and the brain that increase the risk for depression. As always, more research is needed to better understand inflammation’s role in depression. Because inflammation is also associated with cardiovascular disease and because cardiovascular disease and depression are linked as well, it’s important that we learn more about this problem. This line of research creates the possibility that future treatments that lower inflammation in the body might help prevent both heart disease and depression—a welcome development in our fight against these serious illnesses.

Reference

Penninx B.W.J.H., Kritchevsky S.B., Yaffe K, Newman A. B., Simonsick E.M., Rubin S., Ferrucci L., Harris T., Pahor M. Inflammatory markers and depressed mood in older persons: results from the health, aging and body composition study. Biological Psychiatry 2003, volume 54, pages 566-572.

 

Our Partners