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Inflammation and abnormal metabolism are observed in major depressive and bipolar disorders, said Professor Roger McIntyre of the University of Toronto, in a keynote plenary presentation for the ISBD 2020 virtual conference. The abnormalities result from both genetic and epigenetic factors and have been shown to impact both cognition and rewarding domains in the brain — which are both implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders.
Links between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, obesity, cognition and reward
Obesity is a significant moderator of cognitive performance
The expression of insulin and dopamine genes in the prefrontal cortex is altered in obesity, with implications for both cognition and rewarding behavior, explained Professor McIntyre.1
The cognitive deficits include:
Abnormal rewarding behaviors have also been documented and include:
Alterations in all four functional domains implicated in adult obesity — sensory cue processing, reward processing, cognitive control and motor control — are also altered in the neonatal brains of offspring of obese mothers.7
Links between inflammation, reward circuitry and MDD
C-reactive protein is linked to anhedonia and motor slowing
Inflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP) are elevated in people with MDD and it has been suggested that alterations in cortico-striatal reward circuitry associated with MDD might be driven by inflammation, said Professor McIntyre.8
The effects of CRP on connectivity has also been shown to mediate significant relationships between CRP and anhedonia and motor slowing.8,9
Our correspondent’s highlights from the symposium are meant as a fair representation of the scientific content presented. The views and opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of Lundbeck.