Study Reveals Intriguing Link Between Body Temperature and Depression

Published by Cédric - Sunday, February 18, 2024 - Other Languages: FR, DE, ES, PT
Author of the article: Cédric DEPOND
Source: Scientific Reports

The battle against depression, a condition affecting millions of people worldwide, has gained new momentum with a recent study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. This study, recently published in Scientific Reports, reveals an intriguing link between body temperature and depression, opening up new avenues for treatment for this condition.


For seven months, the researchers analyzed data from over 20,000 participants from 106 different countries. These participants were equipped with wearable devices that measured their body temperature and also reported their depression symptoms daily. The results are striking: as the severity of depressive symptoms increased, participants had higher body temperatures.

The study does not definitively determine whether it is depression that raises body temperature, or vice versa. The researchers speculate that this correlation could be related to a decreased ability of the body to cool down during depression, combined with an increased heat production by the metabolism.

The findings of this study could have a significant impact on the treatment of this mental illness. Previous research has already shown that treatment methods based on regulating body temperature, such as hot baths and saunas, can alleviate depression symptoms. Interestingly, due to the self-cooling caused by sweating, the body has a surprising capability to cool down more efficiently when exposed to external heat than when immersed in ice.

This new discovery suggests that monitoring the body temperature of depressed patients could allow for more effective personalization of heat-based treatments. However, further studies will be necessary to fully understand the underlying mechanisms of this correlation and to develop more targeted therapeutic interventions.
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