New evidence suggests that inflammation may play a role in depression in older people. However, it is not known if this inflammation contributes to the onset or the severity of depression, or if it is a by-product.
Aspirin has a well-known anti-inflammatory action. With the large number of people enrolled in the ASPREE, for the first time, researchers in the ASPREE-D sub-study investigated whether aspirin can prevent depression in older people.
What participation involved
The ASPREE-D sub-study involved ASPREE participants answering a few questions about their history of depression and completing a measure of depression called the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)-10 item scale at annual study visits. The (CES-D)-10 is a screening tool that may indicate possible depression; only a qualified medical practitioner can make a diagnosis.
Researchers will also examine blood samples in the Healthy Ageing Biobank for the presence (or absence) of proteins or ‘biomarkers’ associated with inflammation. They will then be able to determine the relationship between these inflammatory ‘biomarkers’ in the blood and diagnosed depression.
The ASPREE-D (Depression) sub-study was undertaken in Australia and the USA. Read an announcement of published study findings here.
Please note, it is recommended that anyone who suspects that they may have depression should visit their GP for care.
- Monash University (Australia)
- Deakin University, School of Medicine (Australia)
- Rush University Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine and the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center (USA)
- University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry and School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (Australia)
- Orygen Youth Health Research Centre (Australia)
- Erasmus Medical Center, Department of Immunology (The Netherlands)
- Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (Australia)
- GP Associate Investigators
- NHMRC grant 1081901 $768,000