Home Emotional Effects Weight loss drugs like Wegovy found to be associated with lower risk of depression

Weight loss drugs like Wegovy found to be associated with lower risk of depression

by Kaitlin Vogel
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GLP-1 drugs are becoming increasingly popular in the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.Fresh Splash/Getty Images
  • A new study shows that diabetic patients who took GLP-1 drugs such as tirzepatide, semaglutide, dulaglutide, and exenatide had a reduced risk of being diagnosed with depression after starting the medication compared to patients who did not take the drugs. It was shown that there is.
  • All GLP-1 drugs analyzed reduced the risk of developing anxiety in patients with diabetes.
  • Experts say the positive effect on mood may be due to weight loss caused by these drugs.

A new study shows that diabetic patients prescribed GLP-1 drugs such as tirzepatide, semaglutide, dulaglutide, and exenatide are less likely to be diagnosed with depression after starting the medication compared to patients who did not take the drug. It has been found.

Tirzepatide is sold under the brand names Mounjaro and Zepbound. Semaglutide is sold under the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy.

This data is from this month. A magnificent study.

Researchers tested 3,081,254 diabetics and 929,174 non-diabetics. They analyzed the association between GLP-1 medication and depression diagnoses after starting the medication.

Diabetic patients who received GLP-1 drugs other than liraglutide had lower rates of depression than patients who did not receive GLP-1 drugs.

Researchers have investigated whether GLP-1 drugs are associated with an increased risk of mental health problems. Wegovy’s treatment lists depression as a potential side effect, and the FDA investigated The problem was resolved, but no evidence of causation was found.

Tirzepatide demonstrated the most significant reduction in the development of depression in diabetic patients. Non-diabetic patients who took semaglutide had a reduced risk of depression compared to patients who were not prescribed GLP-1 drugs.

“This is an interesting study that provides basic data for future research,” he said. Dr. David Creel, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Endocrine and Metabolic Institute. “One of the strengths of this study is that the sample size is very large, including data from all 50 states and more than 1,300 hospitals.”

However, this study was retrospective and lacks many of the controls of a randomized controlled trial, so it is important to be cautious when drawing conclusions.

“Much of the data presented is correlational, showing an association between taking this class of drugs and a reduced risk of depression/anxiety in people with diabetes and obesity,” Creel says. he said. “However, the drugs themselves are not necessarily the reason for the reduced risk. Although this study is promising, it is unclear what factors may influence depression in obese patients taking these drugs. There are many (weight loss, physical activity, reduced medical burden, nutrition, hope, sleep, etc.).”

Semaglutide and tirzepatide were the two drugs most strongly associated with reduced risk of depression and anxiety.

“These drugs generally have the biggest impact on weight,” Creel says. “The effects on mood may be primarily related to weight loss. We may be wondering whether people who lose the most weight are the least likely to develop depression, regardless of which drug they take. It would be interesting to know.”

Creel added that in addition to having a direct effect on mood, drugs can also affect mood indirectly by causing weight loss.

“We know there is an association between obesity and depression, and it appears to be bidirectional. Obesity can increase the risk of depression, and depression can increase the risk of weight gain.” he said.

There are specific mechanisms by which this type of drug can affect mood.

“People who suffer from depression may have neuroinflammation, neurotransmitter imbalances, and synaptic dysfunction,” Creel said. “GLP-1 may reduce nerve inflammation and help protect against neurotransmitter imbalance.”

It may also help maintain synaptic function (connections and communication between nerve cells) in the brain. The extent to which these drugs affect these mechanisms requires further research, he explained.

“I suspect that much of depression and anxiety is related to the overwhelming feeling of helplessness that patients experience when they are unable to sustainably meet their blood sugar or weight loss goals,” he said. . Dr. Caroline Messeran endocrinologist at Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital.

“Additionally, I often hear patients feel like they are living in a body that is not their own, which is almost similar to the gender dysphoria that I often see in my transgender population,” Messer says. he said. “What we see in the mirror does not match the patient’s true appearance.”

Experts say weight loss itself can cause social and physiological changes that affect mental health.

First, “obesity is associated with inflammation, and this inflammation can have direct and detrimental effects on brain function,” Creel said.

Second, “What is indisputable is that obese people are often treated differently than people of normal weight.” could cause problems.”

Some people with obesity may also become more isolated because of their weight, and this social isolation can worsen their mood. Obesity can make physical activity more difficult, Creel explained, and a lack of physical activity is associated with increased depression and anxiety.

Depression can lead to unhealthy coping strategies, such as emotional eating and unhealthy eating.

“One of the symptoms of depression is low energy,” Creel says. “People with low energy are less likely to cook healthy meals and may instead rely on high-calorie convenience foods and fast foods. Research shows that intentional weight loss is associated with improved mood. I often do that.”

Obesity is associated with a number of symptoms, including chronic pain, reduced mobility, social stigma, increased utilization of health care services, and sleep disturbances.

When you lose weight, these symptoms tend to improve, leading to a better quality of life, Creel explained. This in turn can have a positive impact on mood. When obesity/diabetes treatment is effective, those receiving treatment often feel like they have control over their disease, and this hope can have a significant impact on their mood.

Although more research is needed, researchers speculate that these drugs may serve the dual purpose of weight loss and treating anxiety and depression.

“Randomized controlled trials are needed to see whether these drugs are directly affecting mood or whether they are affecting mood primarily through weight loss,” Creel said. “Many factors were not controlled for in this study (e.g. weight loss, nutritional factors, physical activity levels). Additionally, it is unknown to what extent people were diagnosed with depression.”

He added that many of the diagnostic criteria associated with depression – lack of interest in activities, changes in diet, sleep disturbances, feelings of frustration and fatigue – are also associated with obesity and diabetes.

Diabetic patients who took GLP-1 drugs such as tirzepatide, semaglutide, dulaglutide, and exenatide were less likely to be diagnosed with depression after starting the medication compared to patients who did not take the drugs, according to a new study. .

Patients with diabetes were less likely to develop anxiety for all GLP-1 drugs investigated.

Experts say the improved mood may be due to weight loss from these drugs.

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