Inflammation in Human Body Affects Brain’s Reward Center and Increases Risk of Depression

Philadelphia, PA (Scicasts) — A new study by Neil Harrison and colleagues published in Biological Psychiatry suggests that a brain reward centre, the striatum, may be directly affected by inflammation and that striatal change is related to the emergence of illness behaviours. Inflammation increases the risk for depression. More specifically, inflammation induces behavioural changes similar to depression that are often associated with illness, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation, and reduced experience of pleasure. The authors recruited 23 patients with hepatitis C who were beginning treatment with interferon-alpha (INF-α). This treatment provokes an immediate inflammatory response, confirmed by measuring cytokines in the blood. Four hours after INF-α administration, a specialized type of imaging, called magnetization transfer imaging, was performed that showed evidence of microstructural changes in the striatum when…


Link to Full Article: Inflammation in Human Body Affects Brain’s Reward Center and Increases Risk of Depression