Navigation Links
Depression does 'make your brown eyes blue'
Date:5/5/2009

It's more than just feeling bad. Clinical depression affects the way we process information in the brain, negatively affecting memory, attention span, and the brain's ability to learn new things.

Now Tel Aviv University research has provided scientific proof that depression changes our visual perception as well.

A research team headed by Dr. Uri Polat of the Goldschleger Eye Institute at Tel Aviv University compared the visual perception of healthy people to those hospitalized for depression. The clinically depressed, they assessed, lacked the ability to fill in parts of a picture when those parts were missing or faint.

"Vision is processed in the brain, and we already know that depression affects cognitive functioning," says Dr. Polat, whose team pioneered a study on visual perception in people with depression. The new results linking depression to eyesight could result in a breakthrough tool to accurately diagnose depression.

Not Seeing the Whole Picture

To investigate the effects of depression on visual perception, Dr. Polat developed a computerized test that let him assess "the filling-in process" that a healthy mind undertakes when looking at objects. The researchers asked 27 control subjects and 32 patients hospitalized for major depression to look at identical images and report what they saw. The control subjects were able to successfully fill in and "see" missing parts, while the depressive ones were not.

"We see with our brain, not with our eyes. The eye is only the tool," says Dr. Polat, who is studying the brainwave activity of patients during the experiment. He found very unusual patterns emerging: the brain activity of depressed people looked different from that of the control group.

New Diagnosis and Treatment Options

"We are now taking our results and looking at ways we can take the signals in the brain and turn them into an objective tool, both in diagnostics and for monitoring the course of treatment," says Dr. Polat.

With such a tool, visual perception tests might give psychiatrists a better way to diagnose depression. Currently there is no non-biased test to assess whether someone is clinically depressed. Because of the biases inherent in self-administered tests, diagnostic questionnaires can produce inaccurate results, denying patients medication or hospitalization.

Dr. Polat's work might also assist physicians in monitoring the effects of anti-depressants such as Prozac within days. Currently, it can take up to six weeks after the start of treatment to know if the prescription is right for the patient.

Seeing a Fuller Picture of Depression

Dr. Polat and his Tel Aviv University team are now taking the next step and developing an EEG test that could be administered in any clinic or hospital in America to scan brain activity for the signature signs that depression creates.

"A standardized tool for depression could save the healthcare system millions of dollars in costs resulting from misdiagnosis, and would give depressed people peace of mind," says Dr. Polat. "Knowing the severity of one's condition could help a depressed patient decide when to medicate, and then to know whether or not the medication is working. It could also help psychiatrists better understand depression in children, and in people who have multiple dysfunctions that prevent them from communicating their feelings to a psychiatrist."


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Maternal depression is associated with significant sleep disturbance in infants
2. Depression linked with accumulation of visceral fat
3. Economic Downturn Raises Anxiety and Depression Levels
4. For Bipolar Depression, Surveyed Experts Indicate That Current and Emerging Therapies Have No Advantage Over Seroquel in Decreasing the Severity of Symptoms
5. Organ Failure, Sedative Use in ICU May Lead to Depression
6. Heart Disease and Depression Up Heart Failure Risk
7. In the ICU, use of benzodiazepines, other factors may predict severity of post-stay depression
8. As Work Stress Rises, So May Depression
9. FDA Panel Snubs Seroquel as 1st Choice Depression Treatment
10. Aplenzin(TM), the Only Single Tablet Once-Daily Treatment for Depression at All Doses, Now Available in the United States
11. Psychotherapy Can Ease Post-Surgical Depression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Depression does 'make your brown eyes blue'
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... An essential tool for researching ... certain Canadian provinces is now available from the International Association of Industrial Accident ... The report, Workers’ Compensation Laws as of January 1, 2016, is ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... A recent survey by the Midwest Business Group ... to understand and use the free preventive care benefits available to them as part ... of large, self-insured public and private employers, MBGH found that only 10% of large ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery has been named as ... the American Institute of Architects and the Academy of Architecture for Health. The building, ... Harrell Architects, opened to patients in October of 2014. , The ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... TIME for Kids and The ZAC Foundation – ... partnership to reach nearly 1 million children with important water safety messages before summer ... leading cause of accidental death in children one to 6 years of age. ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... In order ... day living patterns, Amerec, a Seattle-based steam bath and sauna manufacturer recently launched ... The user interface of the app, developed for both smartphones and personal computers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 4, 2016 Research ... "Global Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Outlook 2020" ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,Recombinant technology has improved significantly ... expected to be developed in coming years. Many cancer ... Cancer stem cell therapies are also expected to be ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016   BIOTRONIK ... technology, today announced Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... defibrillator that provides heart failure patients with access ... devices also have remote monitoring with daily automatic ... the heart rate in response to physiological demands. ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has been ... says its talc-based powder products caused ovarian cancer. The ... million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive ... , This is the second in a ... same court awarded $72 million to the family of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: