Cool News: Raising Body Temperature Can Relieve Depression

March 2, 2016 · Posted in Potential Treatments 

man overheating

Raising body temperature by a few degrees may produce antidepressant effects as the body’s cooling mechanisms kick in. At the US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress in 2015, researcher Charles Raison described a study comparing the effects of exposing participants to a special heating coil in a tent that retained the heat until their body temperatures increased by a few degrees to those of a sham procedure that did not raise body temperature. Those participants whose body temperature was increased had a lower body temperature the following day, and their depression improved as their bodies cooled. These improvements lasted six weeks or more.

Depressed patients tend to have elevated body temperatures. Raison suggests that raising body temperatures even more prompts the body’s cooling mechanisms to compensate, bringing cooling activity to normal levels from the skin to the brain and improving depression.


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