Meet The Psychologist Who Thinks Depression Is An Infectious Disease

We know that the brains of people with depression are different from the brains of healthy people in both their chemical balance and structure, but despite the fact that roughly 10 percent of the U.S. population struggle with the disease, scientists know startlingly little about why these changes occur.

Clinical depression — also known as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) — is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, psychological and biological factors. But one psychologist believes we’ve overlooked biological factors that may be the missing piece of the puzzle.

In a provocative new paper, Dr. Turhan Canli, associate professor of integrative neuroscience at Stony Brook University, makes a case for reconceptualizing depression as an infectious disease caused by foreign invaders like parasites, bacteria or viruses that make their way into the body and cause changes in the brain.

The paper, recently published in the journal Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders, highlights three different avenues through which infections could cause depression, looking to existing examples of parasites, bacteria and viruses that have been found to affect mood and behavior.

The Huffington Post spoke to Canli about his theory and what —> Read More Here


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