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Higher leptin levels may be associated with improvement in depression patients

Category: Hormones and Metabolism

Women who have been shown through leptin testing to have higher levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone may be less likely to experience depression, according to a new study out of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The researchers said that their findings confirm some of what was already known about the hormone. Obese individuals have been shown to have higher levels of leptin, while underweight people have low levels. Additionally, some conditions in which low body weight is common, including anorexia, are known to frequently be accompanied by depression and anxiety.

Results of the study were based on depression assessments given to 64 women. These participants were also given leptin testing, and the researchers compared the results of both measures.

"Our study in women suggests that leptin may indeed have antidepressant qualities," said, Elizabeth Lawson, who led the study.

She added that her team's findings could result in the development of new approaches to treating depression and other mood disorders. By showing that the hormone is connected to these types of conditions, the findings could give medical professionals a valuable new tool in assessing depression risk.

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