Depression and low mood are related to dysregulation of many physiological processes including changes in the levels of brain chemicals and a disturbance in the endocrine system. Recent studies indicate that impairment and changes in specific structures of the brain, particularly the hippocampus, may be an important factor in the development of depression and low mood. [311-312] The abnormal changes in the brain structures may be related to alterations in the levels of IGF-1, with a number of high quality studies supporting that low level of IGF-1 is a major risk factor for these medical conditions. [313-317] There is increasing evidence that IGF-1 does have an anti-depressant effect, possibly due to its ability to increase the levels of certain brain chemicals including serotonin, which helps regulate mood.  A study by Malberg et al. even found that IGF-1 also has anti-anxiety effect aside from its anti-depressant effect.  These mechanisms may be the reason why IGF-1 administration in patients with major depressive disorder resulted in improved mood, cognitive abilities, and quality of life. 
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