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Fever: New Rx for depression?

A small study suggests that temporarily boosting the body temperature of people with depression may help ease their mood symptoms for up to six weeks. Researchers treated a small number of participants with moderate-to-severe depression using a tent-like heating device that covered the whole body to raise their body temperature to about 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit--the equivalent of a mild fever. A control group received a sham treatment with a similar device that did not raise body temperature, according to an online report published May 12, 2016 in JAMA Psychiatry. Periodic tests conducted up to six weeks after treatment showed that 60 percent of the participants who had received the full heat treatment, called whole-body hyperthermia, responded with significant improvements in depression scores, and 40 percent went into remission. The control group did not achieve significant change. Researchers believe their results are linked to activation of a brain region that produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood elevation, and called for further trials to refine the treatment.


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Title Annotation:NEWS BRIEFS
Publication:Mind, Mood & Memory
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Aug 1, 2016
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