Major depressive disorder (MDD) should be re-conceptualized as an infectious disease, according to Turhan Canli, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology and Radiology at Stony Brook University. In a paper published in Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders, Canli suggests that major depression may result from parasitic, bacterial, or viral infection. He presents examples that illustrate possible pathways by which these microorganisms could contribute to the etiology of MDD.
MDD remains highly prevalent disease with some 15 to 20% of the population experiencing MDD at some point. Recurrence is common, and pharmacological treatments have not changed. Because the causal aspects of the disease are not clearly defined, research to find causes remains paramount to help improve treatments.
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