Investigating depression in kidney dialysis patients

Having to undergo kidney dialysis for several hours, three times a week, inevitably impacts on well-being of patients with chronic kidney disease. Many show symptoms of clinical .

Unfortunately, drug treatments for work for only a minority. And depression not only makes patients’ lives more miserable — it worsens their symptoms and reduces their life expectancy.

However, research is showing that there may also be biological reasons for their depression. There is growing evidence that inflammation, a feature of chronic kidney disease, may affect brain. Just as an illness like flu can have a severe but short-lived effect on mood and behaviour, ongoing kidney disease may be having a long-term impact on mood circuits in brain.

To investigate this idea, researchers in the Barts Diabetic Kidney Centre — set up with funding from Barts Charity — have teamed up with laboratory scientist Dr Livia Carvalho to explore possible links between inflammation and depression in chronic kidney disease patients.

Find out more about Barts Charity and support projects like this at

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