Home Decoded: What causes depression among diabetes patients

 Increased levels of a protein inflammation in the body may be the reason behind depression -- a mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities -- among people with Type-1 diabetes according to researchers. 
It is well established that people with both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing depression but the causes remain poorly understood.
The research showed that higher levels of galectin-3 -- an inflammatory protein -- is the culprit.
Galectin-3 is a key protein involved in promoting inflammatory immune system responses that are needed to repair tissue damage throughout the body in response to injury or disease.
According to the researchers galectin-3 -- also linked with Alzheimer s and cardiovascular diseases -- may be useful for diagnosis of depression or maybe a new target for treating depression associated with Type-1 diabetes which could lead to better patient care.
"We found that people with Type-1 diabetes and depression had higher galectin-3 levels yet no other diabetes-related metabolic changes could account for these elevated levels " said Eva Olga Melin from Lund University Sweden.
The study published in the journal Endocrine Connections analysed data on measurements of galectin-3 levels in 283 people aged between 18-59 years with Type-1 diabetes for a year.
The results showed that both men and women with Type-1 diabetes and depression also had significantly higher galectin-3 levels.
"...these findings suggest that further investigating the role of galectin-3 could lead to improved diagnosis and maybe better treatment outcomes for patients in the future " Melin said. 

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