3. Association Found Between Inflammation and
Depression in Type 1 Diabetes

A research published in the journal Endocrine Connections has shown that depression in type-1 diabetes patients is associated with higher levels of inflammatory protein galectin-3.

Individuals with both type-1 and type-2 diabetes are known to have an increased risk of developing depression, which can lead to serious consequences, but the causes remain poorly understood. Galectin-3 is a key protein involved in promoting inflammatory immune system responses that are needed to repair tissue damage, in response to injury or disease. However, elevated levels of galectin-3 have also been linked to an increased risk of inflammatory disorders including Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease. Previous studies indicate that both depression and diabetes may be associated with increased levels of inflammation in the body. However, the role of galectin-3 has not been investigated in either of the conditions.

Dr. Eva Olga Melin and colleagues from Lund University, Sweden measured the galectin-3 levels of 283 type-1 diabetes individuals (56% men, age 18-59 years, diabetes duration at least one year). The incidence of depression (self-reported) in these patients was assessed and possible confounding influences of lifestyle factors including heart disease, smoking or poorly managed diabetes were accounted for in the analysis.

The study showed that both men and women with type-1 diabetes and depression, also had significantly higher galectin-3 levels. Yet no other diabetes-related metabolic changes could account for these elevated levels." Dr Melin says.

The team now plans to further investigate the link between type-1 diabetes, depression and galectin-3, as although these findings indicate that galectin-3 levels are associated with diabetes and depression, they are not sufficient to show any causative relationship. The findings from the study suggest that, in the future, treatment targeting galactin-3 could lead to improved prognosis and maybe better treatment outcomes for patients with high galectin-3 levels.

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