Years of untreated depression may lead to neurodegenerative levels of brain inflammation. That’s according to a first-of-its-kind study (link is external) showing evidence of lasting biological changes in the brain for those suffering with depression for more than a decade.
The study findings are from the same research team that originally identified a link between brain inflammation and depression. Along with subsequent research, the findings have started to change thinking about depression treatments. Evidence is increasingly pointing to the possibility that it’s not only a biological disorder with immediate implications, but over time depression may alter the brain in ways requiring different forms of treatment than what’s currently available.