Tumors can cause classic symptoms of depression in rats, according to linkurl:a new study published online in PNAS;http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/05/15/0811949106.abstract this week.
Image: linkurl:Understanding Animal Research;http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/
"What's really cool about this paper is that it shows without a doubt that there are depressive-like behaviors induced in these rats before these rats become [sick]," said linkurl:Keith Kelley,;http://www.iib.uiuc.edu/faculty/faculty/k_kelley.cfm an immunophysiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who was not involved in the research. Researchers have long known that individuals suffering from chronic illness are at a greater risk of depression, but whether it was a direct cause of the illness or a psychological reaction to being sick was unclear. "By using this animal model of cancer we were able to isolate just the physiological effects of the tumors from the psychological effects that you get in human studies," said linkurl:Leah Pyter,;http://home.uchicago.edu/%7Epyter/ a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, who led the...

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