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:6/26/2016)... PLAINSBORO, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... same sources, yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, ... Oncology (EBO), a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness ... to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a ... new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a ... occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, ... Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global ... surgical procedure volume data in a geographic context. The ... of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world population growth, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June 23, 2016 ... rough waters, but it continues to present great opportunities ... featured companies for today: Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: ... ), Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ), ... Learn more about these stocks and receive your complimentary ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Leading BioSciences Inc., ... medical conditions resulting from a breakdown of the ... Greg Doyle as chief executive officer. ... executive management team and board of directors, previously ... officer. He will provide continued leadership and strategic ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: