Depression is A lot in the Stomach that it Happens
A team of French researchers has carried out a series of impressive experiments on mice showing the leading role of the gut microbiota in depression. They explain why 30% of people with depression do not respond to conventional antidepressants. And underline how the taking of prebiotics could prove to be useful, in addition to psychotropic drugs.
If you are told that depression can be a contagious disease, you will probably think of the detrimental effect that the behavior of a depressed person can have on the morale of those around him. Certainly, but not only: the strict truth is that we can indeed speak of the contagiousness of depression – or, at least, of certain forms of depression – as we speak of that of Covid-19, even if no virus is born. is naturally involved! This has been shown by a series of experiments on mice carried out by researchers from the Pasteur Institute, Inserm and CNRS.
To make a mouse depressed, laboratory technicians are used to subjecting it to chronic stress, plunging them into anxiety and, ultimately, depression. But, in two studies successively published in the journals “Cell Reports” in March 2020 then “Nature Communications” in December of the same year, this team led by the neurobiologist Pierre-Marie Lledo (CNRS-Institut Pasteur) and the immunobiologist Gerard Eberl (Institut Pasteur-Inserm) explains how it induced a depressive state in mice without subjecting them to any stress. Simply by transferring to them the intestinal microbiota of mice that are themselves depressed! Only a few days after this manipulation, the until then healthy mice developed all the symptoms by which this mental illness manifests itself – in humans as well as in rodents -: decreased motivation, loss of pleasure, apathy, etc.
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