Emory University investigators established in a new study that people suffering from severe, drug-resistant depression could experience some relief of their symptoms if they are given a chemical currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disorders.
In the past, studies demonstrated that depressed patients with brain inflammation were more likely to be unresponsive to drug treatments. In the new work, researchers found that the anti-inflammatory drug infliximab can reduce neural inflammation, and the severity of depression symptoms.
One of the most significant conclusions of the new study is that it may be possible to employ the human immune system in the fight against psychiatric disorders. Depression may not be the only condition that can be addressed in this manner, PsychCentral
“This is the first successful application of a biologic therapy to depression,” first study author Charles L. Raison, MD, writes in the latest online issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.