Researchers suggest that estrogen may protect people from heart failure related depression. The prevention can be done by producing inflammation causing chemicals in brain. This study is published in the American Journal of Physiology. The research states that people who have survived heart attacks or heart failure are more likely to suffer from depression than general people.
The depression related to heart failure is caused due to increased inflammation in brain. Studies in the past has revealed that women post menopause with heart diseases have higher risks of depression compared to all other young men and women.
University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Brain and Mind institute had researchers that studied the model of rat for heart failure after heart attack. The experiment included two groups. The adult female rats mimicking menopause were without ovaries. The other group constituted of adult females with ovaries and adult males. Half of the rats facing “menopause” were given estrogen supplements. Rats not affected by heart failure were used as controls and compared to rats that were given estrogen.
Researchers conducted standardize tests for depression by measuring memory, ability and learning capacities. This also included blood samples for testing inflammation level in the brain. The rats with hearth failure showed signs of brain inflammation along with depression compared to control group of male rats. The female rats who didn’t have ovaries were exhibiting higher depression behavior compared to all other rats. Whereas, the female rats who received estrogens had no signs of brain inflammation or depression.
Researchers said that rats with heart failure after heart attacks are more affected by brain inflammation and depression. This mechanism has helped researchers to find out new therapies for specific sex.