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HEALTH Mental Health

HEALTH Mental Health Foto: Diana Polekhina / unsplash.com / CO0 E PEOPLE WITH DEPRESSION SHOW INFLAMMATORY PROCESSES The effectiveness of the antibiotic minocycline in people with depression has been studied at the Charité hospital in Berlin for several years. For this purpose, a study with 160 test persons was initiated. But why should an antibiotic of all things help? Quite simply, some patients with depression have been found to have an activated immune system - even though they have no infection from bacteria, viruses or fungi. This means that, in addition to the imbalance of messenger substances in the brain, inflammatory processes also play a role in the development and maintenance of depressive symptoms. However, antidepressants only act on the neurotransmitters in the brain and do not combat inflammation. This is possibly the reason why they do not help sufficiently in one third of patients. And so the antibiotic could be added as a complementary therapeutic agent. But the researchers are not yet sure whether stress triggers the immune response in the body or whether depression causes increased release of stress hormones, thus activating the immune system. "Even though we can't yet show the pathophysiological causal chain: That doesn't mean we can't try to calm the overactive immune system with minocycline, a proven and welltolerated antibiotic," explains Dr. Isabella Heuser, head of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Charité in Berlin. MINOCYCLINE CAN CROSS THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER The brain has its own immune system, which is activated during inflammatory processes in the body. It is therefore important that an antibiotic also works there. To do this, it must cross the so-called blood-brain barrier. This protects the brain from pathogens and other substances in the blood. Because minocycline can cross the blood-brain barrier and is a generally well-tolerated antibiotic, it was selected for this study. The initial results are promising. For example, the researchers were able to observe significant improvements in some of the subjects after they had been taking the drug for six weeks. Although the final results are not yet available, there is much to suggest that antibiotics could be the third important pillar in the treatment of depression, alongside antidepressants and psychotherapy. Text: Martin Lewicki Do I suffer from depression? Those affected can find a self-test and help at www.deutsche-depressionshilfe.de. Depression information hotline: 0800 33 44 5 33 40 Issue 02

info@pflege2.de 0621- 37 00 8 - 0 www.pflege2.de ERSTER ZERTIFIZIERTER - SENSIBLER PFLEGEDIENST IM SÜDEN

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