B3803 - Inflammation and Health The causes and consequences of GlycA and its role in the inflammatory system - 07/06/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Abigail Fraser | University of Bristol (UK)
Miss Daisy Crick
Title of project: 
Inflammation and Health: The causes and consequences of GlycA and its role in the inflammatory system
Proposal summary: 

Inflammation is known to be associated with adverse non-communicable diseases (NCDs). However, the most commonly used biomarkers in inflammation research (namely C-Reactive Protein and Interleukin-6) are potentially not valid measures of chronic and cumulative inflammation. This is because they respond to short-term, acute inflammatory changes in the body. This therefore limits our knowledge of the true association between chronic inflammation and NCDs, but also limits our understanding of the role certain exposures (such as adverse childhood experiences; ACEs) have on levels of chronic inflammation.
A novel biomarker GlycA may be a more reflective of chronic inflammation because it is not affected by short-term inflammatory changes, given that it is a composite biomarker. Therefore GlycA may be a more valid measure compared to previously used biomarkers. This project aims to use GlycA to investigate the causes and consequences of chronic inflammation more accurately, with a focus on mental health (such as depression). The project will collaborate with the work being done by Debbie Lawlor’s group investigating the association between GlycA and cardiovascular disease.

Impact of research: 
In many Western populations, the lifetime prevalence of NCDs such as mental health disorders is approaching 50%, creating societal, health and economic impacts. However, the pathway of their development is still not fully understood. My research will build on previous literature to understand one of the potential pathways leading to such negative outcomes. We hope to provide evidence that the novel biomarker GlycA is a useful tool for measuring cumulative and chronic inflammation and investigate its application in the relationship with NCDs such as depression.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 3 June, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 7 June, 2021
Epidemiology, Mental health, Metabolomics, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity