VAI to Host ‘A Conversation About Depression’

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Van Andel Institute will host A Conversation About Depression — Hosted by Carol Van Andel on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. This fully virtual event will discuss the biological underpinnings of depression and explore how a better understanding of the disorder can be translated into improved diagnostics and treatments.

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting more than 264 million people worldwide. It is more than simply a feeling of sadness brought on by the ups and downs of everyday life; rather, depression is caused by several psychological, social and biological factors that vary from person to person.

A growing body of evidence suggests that inflammation—the body's natural reaction to harmful stimuli—may be an important trigger for depression. These insights may provide critical new avenues for prevention and treatment.

A Conversation About Depression will feature VAI's Lena Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., whose research has identified several inflammatory markers as possible triggers for depression; Eric Achtyes, M.D., M.S., a staff psychiatrist and researcher at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, who also holds appointments with Cherry Health, network180 and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; and Mark Eastburg, Ph.D., president and CEO of Pine Rest.

"Society has made great strides in recent years in our willingness to discuss depression and mental health. These are incredibly important conversations to have, as mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being," said Carol Van Andel, executive director of the David and Carol Van Andel Family Foundation. "If we can better understand the various factors that give rise to depression, we can further destigmatize it and move closer to effective treatments."

All proceeds from A Conversation About Depression go toward depression research at VAI. The event is sponsored by Howard Miller, Gallagher, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and McAlvey Merchant & Associates.

To learn more and register, click here.

Courtesy of Van Andel Institute.


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