According to the conclusions of a new scientific study by researchers at the Ohio State University and the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, brain injuries and concussions can lead to the development of symptoms related to depression many years later.
The investigation uncovered that microglial cells in the brains of mouse models tend to go on high alert following injuries. This leads to these cells becoming excessively inflammatory in response to immune challenges that come afterwards, a condition that has been linked to depression in previous studies.
Researchers found some time ago that people who have experienced numerous concussions early in life tend to exhibit midlife mental-health issues, but the mechanisms underlying this connection have thus far eluded discovery, Science Blog reports.
Details of the new research appear in the latest online issue of the medical journal Biological Psychiatry. “A lot of people with a history of head injury don’t develop mental-health problems until they’re in their 40s, 50s or 60s. That suggests there are other factors involved, and that’s why we’re looking at this two-hit idea,” lead study author Jonathan Godbout explains.