The Kynurenine Pathway: Implications for inflammation and mood

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The NEI Connection

When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is drag yourself to work and deal with your normal routine. Even socializing with friends does not sound pleasant anymore. You may experience low energy, sleep issues, low appetite, and low mood, to name a few. This “sickness behavior” shares many of the same symptoms as depression. This behavior is thought to have evolved to encourage people to slow down and rest when ill in order to maintain the resources needed to clear an infection1. In most cases, these symptoms will be short lived, and the body will return to normal once the infection has cleared. However, in instances of long term immune up-regulation, these symptoms may become more persistent and result in a long term depressive state. Over the years, a great deal of research has linked inflammation to depression, and many different theories regarding the mechanism…

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