MoodInflame is a large-scale medical scientific project funded by the EU.

The concept of the project is that major mood disorders, like bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and postpartum psychoses, are the result of a systemic abnormal condition of proneness to inflammation, which also leads to various autoimmune diseases (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is more frequent in patients with major mood disorders).

In our view major mood disorders are thus largely caused by a mild chronic inflammation of certain brain areas important for mood regulation, such as the limbic system.

The systemic state of proneness to inflammation also disturbs:

  1. The hormonal systems which regulate inflammations and are involved in stress biology reactions, and
  2. The break down metabolism of tryptophan, an important precursor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter.

In this way the mild chronic inflammation of the limbic system is linked to a defective stress responsiveness and a shortage of serotonin in certain brain areas in patients with a major mood disorder.

The MoodInflame consortium consists of 18 partners from 10 European countries (flags) and aims to achieve the following main objectives before the year 2013:

  1. The development of blood tests and brain scans to identify the mild chronic inflammation in mood disorder patients and individuals at risk for a major mood disorder (children).
  2. To treat patients and individuals at risk for a major mood disorder with anti-inflammatory medicines.
  3. The exploration of animal models (special mice and rats) of major mood disorders, i.e. animals with a low grade inflammation of the brain, to study in depth the abnormal mechanisms in the brain and the correction possibilities with medicines.
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