Scientists have found what causes depression among diabetes patients with their study indicating that increased levels of a protein inflammation in the body may be the reason behind depression among type-1 diabetes patients.
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.
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,” one of the researchers said.