MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: The neural basis of the depression

Back to psychology news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Psychology News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

The neural basis of the depression




Depression is actually defined by specific clinical symptoms such as sadness, difficulty to experience pleasure, sleep problems etc., present for at least two weeks, with impairment of psychosocial functioning. These symptoms guide the doctor to make a diagnosis and to select antidepressant therapy such as drugs or psychotherapy.

At least 40% of depressed patients actually benefit from antidepressant therapy, whereas 20-30% of patients may suffer from chronic depression that negatively impacts their quality of life. In order to improve the efficiency of therapy and reduce the burden of depressive disorders, depression clearly needs to be defined at the neurobiological level.

Role of neurobiological markers in depression



The neural basis of the depression

Current research efforts are devoted to the study of the neural bases of depression and therapy induced changes using modern brain imaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Since a number of years it has become clear that depression is linked to dysfunction of specific brain regions involved in cognitive control and emotional response.

A recent fMRI-study showed that depressed patients had an abnormal activation of the medial prefrontal cortex (Figure 1; Lemogne et al. 2009). During this study, subjects had to judge whether personality traits described them or not (i.e. 'Am I selfish?'), or whether it described a generally desirable trait or not (i.e. 'Is it good or bad to be greedy?'). The dysfunction of the medial prefrontal region may explain specific complaints of depressed patients such as self-blame, rumination and feeling of guilt.

It was found that this activation pattern was maintained over the course of depression after 8 weeks of antidepressant therapy. These results are difficult to interpret but suggest that, after remission of depression, some patients show persistent abnormalities of specific brain regions. Such abnormalities may indicate the need for complementary therapy such as cognitive behavioural treatment in order to reduce the risk of depressive recurrence.

Overall, these findings suggest that brain imaging studies could provide biomarkers of diagnosis and improve patients chances to responding to specific therapy modalities. Such neurobiological markers of depression may help psychiatry experts to tailor antidepressant therapy to the brain and the biological needs of the patients.

Conclusion
In the general population, depression is still frequently linked to bad life style, impairment of volition and 'psychological weakness'. However, the results of brain imaging studies clearly have confirmed that depression is a true brain disease linked to dysfunction of specific brain regions involved in cognitive control and emotional response.

Depression needs to be defined at the neurobiological level in order to improve the efficiency of therapy and reduce the burden of depressive disorders.

Neurobiological markers of depression may help psychiatry experts to target specific neural processes and regions involved in affective regulation and to tailor antidepressant therapy as per the biological needs of the patients. This could improve patients chances to responding to specific therapy modalities.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Depression is actually defined by specific clinical symptoms such as sadness, difficulty to experience pleasure, sleep problems etc., present for at least two weeks, with impairment of psychosocial functioning. These symptoms guide the doctor to make a diagnosis and to select antidepressant therapy such as drugs or psychotherapy.

Medicineworld.org: The neural basis of the depression

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.