Impact on the brain by inflammatory conditions

Today we bring you another update from the recent European Rheumatology Conference: EULAR that our Pharmacy Manager Carolyn Whiskin attended in June.

Inflammation can have an impact on memory and emotional well-being. It is well known that when inflammation is high there is an increase in depression. Rheumatoid arthritis treatments are less successful in those that are depressed, as inflammation affects the nervous system. 

One study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed an improvement in dementia when on methotrexate. 

When cognitive behavioural therapy was used and depression levels fell, there was a decrease in pain and fatigue, and markers of inflammation in the blood decreased as well. Biological therapies used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, although having great impact on joints, are not as successful at lowering depression. So it appears that depression must be managed independently in people who have rheumatoid arthritis to ensure the best outcomes for both mental health, pain and inflammation.


Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health.  Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.

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