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Inflammation and Depression: From Evolutionary Understandings to the Discovery of New Treatments

In our first podcast with Dr. Andrew H. Miller, we explored links between inflammation and mental illness. But we left unanswered several key questions. Why as a species we should be so prone to inflammatory disorders? Why, from an evolutionary point of view, should inflammation so readily cause depression? In this podcast we cover these questions and more, exploring why humans have an inflammatory bias, why the link between inflammation and depression likely enhanced survival and reproduction across human evolution and why the absence of co-evolved bacteria, viruses and worms in the modern world is making both inflammation and depression worse. Finally, we turn to cutting-edge research underway in Dr. Miller’s laboratory that seeks to harness the link between inflammation and depression to create better, and more personalized, treatments for mental illness. Andrew H. Miller, MD, is the William P. Timmie Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University. His discoveries have played a leading role in our current understanding of immune-brain interactions relevant to mental health.

This episode is Part 2 in a two-part series.

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