Navigation Links
For depression, relapsers go to the front of the brain

Philadelphia, PA, August 22, 2011 - Depression is increasingly recognized as an illness that strikes repeatedly over the lifespan, creating cycles of relapse and recovery. This sobering knowledge has prompted researchers to search for markers of relapse risk in people who have recovered from depression. A new paper published in Elsevier's Biological Psychiatry suggests that when formerly depressed people experience mild states of sadness, the nature of their brains' response can predict whether or not they will become depressed again.

Patients who ruminate and activate the brain's frontal lobes are more likely to relapse into depression than those who respond with acceptance and activate visual areas in the back of the brain. Part of what makes depression such a devastating disorder is the high rate of relapse: each time a person becomes clinically depressed, increases their chances of becoming depressed by 16%. However, the fact that some patients are able to fully maintain their recovery points to the possibility that differences in the way they respond to everyday emotional challenges may reduce their chances of relapse.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine that possibility, researchers presented sixteen formerly-depressed patients with sad movie clips while taking pictures of their brain activity. Over the next year and a half, nine of the sixteen patients relapsed into depression. The researchers compared the brain activity of relapsing patients against those who remained healthy and against another group of people who had never been depressed. When faced with sadness, relapsing patients showed more activity in a frontal region of the brain known as the medial prefrontal gyrus. Responses in this frontal region were also linked to higher rumination scores, the tendency to think obsessively about negative events. Patients who did not relapse showed more activity in the rear part of the brain responsible for processing visual information. Responses in this visual area were also linked to greater feelings of acceptance and non-judgment of experience. Both the frontal and visual responses to sadness were atypical, in that they were not found in people who had never been depressed.

"Despite achieving an apparent recovery from the symptoms of depression, this study suggests that there are important differences in how formerly depressed people respond to emotional challenges that predict future well-being," explained author Dr. Norman Farb. "For a person with a history of depression, using the frontal brain's ability to analyze and interpret sadness may actually be an unhealthy reaction that can perpetuate the chronic cycle of depression."

Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry added, "Relapse is one of the most vexing problems in depression treatment. Having a biomarker for relapse could guide a new generation of treatment research."

Further evaluation is needed to determine whether the brain's reaction to sadness can predict a person's risk for future depression on an individual, case-by-case basis. It will also be important to examine whether people identified as being at risk for relapse can be trained to change their way of responding to negative emotion or whether treatment strategies can be developed that would target the hyperactivity of this cortical region when processing sad or other negative stimuli.


Contact: Chris J. Pfister

Related medicine news :

1. Childhood Depression, Anxiety Tied to Pain in Adulthood
2. Spiritual retreat can lower depression, raise hope in heart patients
3. Group therapy helps MS sufferers cope with depression, study finds
4. Antidepressants may not improve all symptoms of depression, UT Southwestern researchers find
5. Mexican Immigrants to U.S. Prone to Depression, Anxiety Disorders
6. Study Highlights How Moms Depression, Anger Stresses Kids
7. Peer Support Beats Usual Care for Depression, Analysis Finds
8. Video Game Addiction Tied to Depression, Anxiety in Kids
9. Study finds family acceptance of LGBT youth protects against depression, substance abuse, suicide
10. Depression, Anxiety May Raise Surgery Risks
11. Non-invasive therapy significantly improves depression, UCLA researchers say
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The ... Dallas, TX, on January 29 and 30, 2016. The course welcomes dental professionals ... their practices, to learn how to better succeed in the modern dental marketplace. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... key disease-causing component of bacteria could be effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ... State University. , Their study showed that small molecule analogs that target the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Dr. Seth ... three office locations, patients can visit Dr. Margulies to experience the best available orthodontic ... hold the title of "NJ Top Dentist"! , Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ”Dying Words: The ... be released on December 1, 2015, to coincide with World AIDS Day. The multi-media ... journalist who covered the AIDS epidemic as he was dying of the disease. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Reports magazine, quoted Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumer Reports as ... more so for a child’s exposure limits. , The original Nov 2015 CR ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... India , November 30, 2015 ... 2014, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% ... was valued at USD 135.6 million in 2014, and is ... 2020. --> According to the new Market Research Report ... invasive, non-invasive), By End User (Hospitals, ambulatory care, others) - Analysis ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PUNE, India , November 30, 2015 ... new market research report "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft ... Treatment, Periodontitis), End User (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global ... USD 224.7 Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% ... , Browse 140 market data Tables and 62 Figures spread ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. and ST. ... Cross and Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today ... benefit agreement. The partnership, which began in 1999, will ... --> --> After evaluating pharmacy ... process, Premera concluded that Express Scripts continues to offer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: