Surprising Link Discovered Between Body Temperature and Depression

A UC San Francisco examine exhibits a correlation between depression and greater body temperatures, hinting at new therapy strategies by temperature regulation. With information from over 20,000 international contributors, this analysis means that heat-based remedies might supply advantages for these with depression. Credit:

New examine might assist heat-based therapy to stimulate self-cooling as new therapy.

People with depression have greater body temperatures, suggesting there might be a psychological health profit to reducing the temperatures of these with the dysfunction, a brand new UC San Francisco-led examine discovered.

The examine, printed on February 5 in Scientific Reports, doesn’t point out whether or not depression raises body temperature or a better temperature causes depression. It’s additionally unknown whether or not the upper body temperature noticed in individuals with depression displays a decreased potential to self-cool, elevated era of warmth from metabolic processes, or a mixture of each.

“What if we can track the body temperature of people with depression to time heat-based treatments well?” — Ashley Mason, PhD

Researchers analyzed information from greater than 20,000 worldwide contributors who wore a tool that measures body temperature, and additionally self-reported their body temperatures and depression signs every day. The seven-month examine started in early 2020 and included information from 106 nations.

The outcomes confirmed that with every growing stage of depression symptom severity, contributors had greater body temperatures. The body temperature information additionally confirmed a development towards greater depression scores in individuals whose temperatures had much less fluctuation all through a 24-hour interval, however this discovering didn’t attain significance.

Implications for Depression Treatment

The findings make clear how a novel depression therapy technique may work, mentioned Ashley Mason, PhD, the examine’s lead creator and affiliate professor of psychiatry at UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. A small body of current, causal research has discovered that utilizing scorching tubs or saunas can scale back depression, probably by triggering the body to self-cool, for instance, by sweating.

“Ironically, heating people up actually can lead to rebound body temperature lowering that lasts longer than simply cooling people down directly, as through an ice bath,” mentioned Mason, who can be a scientific psychologist at the united states Osher Center for Integrative Health. “What if we can track the body temperature of people with depression to time heat-based treatments well?”

“To our knowledge, this is the largest study to date to examine the association between body temperature – assessed using both self-report methods and wearable sensors – and depressive symptoms in a geographically broad sample,” added Mason. “Given the climbing rates of depression in the United States, we’re excited by the possibilities of a new avenue for treatment.”

Reference: “Elevated body temperature is associated with depressive symptoms: results from the TemPredict Study” by Ashley E. Mason, Patrick Kasl, Severine Soltani, Abigail Green, Wendy Hartogensis, Stephan Dilchert, Anoushka Chowdhary, Leena S. Pandya, Chelsea J. Siwik, Simmie L. Foster, Maren Nyer, Christopher A. Lowry, Charles L. Raison, Frederick M. Hecht and Benjamin L. Smarr, 5 February 2024, Scientific Reports.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-024-51567-w

This effort was funded beneath MTEC solicitation MTEC-20-12-Diagnostics-023 and the USAMRDC beneath the Department of Defense (DOD). The #StartSmall basis (#7029991) and Oura Health Oy (#134650) additionally offered funding for this work. The views and conclusions contained herein are these of the authors and shouldn’t be interpreted as essentially representing the official insurance policies or endorsements, both expressed or implied, of the U.S. Government.

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