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publicado em 30/05/2013 às 14h00:00
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Unpublished study proves that Chagas disease can cause depression

The action of the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi causes neurochemical imbalance in patients, leading to depression

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Overall result of unprecedented study of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in strains of the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi in Brazil, showed that Chagas disease can cause neurochemical imbalance in the patient, leading to depression.

The survey, conducted in the Laboratory of Biology of Interactions identified the protozoan that causes the disease can trigger an immune disorder and neurochemistry associated with depression.

An unmistakable mark of depression is withdrawal of the patient - in the case of our research, the animal. We used two groups of mice. Each group was infected with strains type 1 and type 2 T. cruzi. Only the first group presented immobility and withdrawal when tested for depression. It was a preliminary sign of depression, Chagas disease, could not be a psychosomatic process, says Joseli Lannes, who led the study.

O estudo foi publicado na revista científica de referência Brain, Behavior and Immunity

In search of biomarkers that justify the apathetic behavior of the mice, the team found that levels of the enzyme IDO, which compromises the synthesis of serotonin, were above normal in the animals included in the experiment. According Joseli, this is because the presence of the parasite in the body, although reduced in the chronic phase of the disease, induces the expression of IDO in the central nervous system. The next step was to treat mice with a combination of benznidazole used chemotherapeutic agent against parasites, and fluoxetine antidepressant, which increases the availability of serotonin in the brain.

The researchers left, then to the analysis of levels of factor necrose tumoral (TNF) in mice. Found that the level of TNF were higher in animals, they were divided into two groups and treated with pentoxifylline or a imunomodulador which blocks the synthesis of TNF, or anti-TNF antibody (blocking cytokine activity). The response was positive in both cases. We confirm that the depression, in Chagas disease, is the result of a complex circuit immune to interfere forcefully the central nervous system, and as an agent that triggers the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, concluded.

From the study, the research team concluded that Fiocruz behavior change recorded in carriers of the disease occurs from the uncertain fate and the high percentage of incurable disease, aggravated by low socioeconomic prevalent among patients with this disease .

A partnership between the Laboratory of Biology of Interactions IOC and Outpatient Reference Chagas Disease, University of Pernambuco (UPE) make it possible for a clinical trial to investigate the use of therapy suggested by the team led by Joseli. To the expert if proven the effectiveness of the suggested protocol, the implementation in healthcare facilities can take place without delay since benznidazole, pentoxifylline and fluoxetine are already approved by ANVISA and the market.

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Chagas disease    Chagas disease and depression    Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Institute    Fiocruz    protozoan    Trypanosoma cruzi    Joseli Lannes       
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