Navigation Links
The neural basis of the depressive self
Date:8/31/2010

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 physician to make a diagnosis and to select antidepressant treatment such as drugs or psychotherapy.

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

Role of neurobiological markers in depression

Current research efforts are devoted to the study of the neural bases of depression and treatment induced changes using modern brain imaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Since many years it has become clear that depression is associated with 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 observed that this activation pattern was maintained over the course of depression after 8 weeks of antidepressant treatment. 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 treatment such as cognitive behavioural therapy 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 treatment modalities. Such neurobiological markers of depression may help psychiatrists to tailor antidepressant treatment to the brain and the biological needs of the patients.

Conclusion

In the general population, depression is still frequently associated with 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 associated with 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 treatment and reduce the burden of depressive disorders.

Neurobiological markers of depression may help psychiatrists to target specific neural processes and regions involved in affective regulation and to tailor antidepressant treatment according to the biological needs of the patients. This could improve patients chances to responding to specific treatment modalities.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sonja Mak
s.mak@update.europe.at
431-405-5734
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Race and empathy matter on neural level
2. Neuralstem updates clinical trial progress
3. FDA approves first human neural stem cell clinical trial to treat brain tumors
4. Human neural stem cells restore motor function in mice with chronic spinal cord injury
5. Neuralstem files FDA application for first chronic spinal cord injury stem cell trial
6. Hurts so good -- neural clues to the calming effects of self-harm
7. Higher anxiety, depression among women may have basis in cell signals
8. Mount Sinai researchers find structural basis for incidence of skin cancers in a genetic disorder
9. Smoking increases depressive symptoms in teens
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Maureen McLaughlin, LA.c., ... Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT). McLaughlin brings nearly 20 years of experience ... to help patients realize their family building goals. Acupuncture helps fertility patients ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... “Fred Rides a Train” allows readers to ... , “Fred Rides a Train” is the creation of published author, Janet Morrison, ... teen years in Michigan. The "Fred, the Dog" series is her first attempt at ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... NuevaCare, a leading home care agency ... to announce new city-specific pages as part of its ambitious website relaunch. As Bay ... look, first, for local agencies serving their city. The new site has several key ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... Men with gum ... risk of serious health problems, such as cardiovascular illness, according to research cited ... Beverly Hills Periodontics & Dental Implant Center notes that the correlation between periodontal ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... has named Ajdin Camaga as a vice president of sales. , “Ajdin understands ... president. “He works hard to understand what each client needs, and is persistent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016  Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS ... present a company overview at the BMO Capital Markets Prescriptions for ... York, NY . A live webcast of the ... the Ionis website.  The replay will be available within 48 hours ... ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 7, 2016 Today, Stock-Callers.com presents four ... JAZZ ), Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ANTH ... AveXis Inc. (NASDAQ: AVXS ). From its peak ... 37% to reach a level equal to what it saw ... approximately 14% for the year, it has still out-performed other ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... According to the latest market ... Study on Multiplex Detection Immunoassay: North America to Dominate ... detection immunoassay market is expected to witness a CAGR of ... ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161114/438683LOGO) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: