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Decoded: What causes depression among diabetes patients

London, June 7: 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. The study 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. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita