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:5/2/2016)... ... , ... Dr. Philip Shindler, dentist in Agoura Hills , now offers ... many necessary dental treatments could require multiple appointments to complete. This could mean taking ... time. Not only could this be inconvenient, but it could also be overwhelmingly unpleasant ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... Valley, reopened for its 2016 guest season which runs through October. Omega is offering ... talks . , “There has never been such widespread interest in or ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Visceral ... organs, such as the kidneys, liver and pancreas. If not properly addressed, visceral ... board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care, warns against the ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Pregnancy Awareness Month offers a great time to ... , “If you are ready to have a baby, it’s best to get started ... Babies is your Personal Conception & Pregnancy Organizer, written for women who plan on ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... Consultative health care market research firm ... and Duane Reed, VP of business development of AJMC Strategic Solutions, will be ... (PBIRG) General Meeting from May 15-17 at the Boca Raton Resort & ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  ValGenesis, Inc., ... Management Solutions (VLMS) today announced that a ... for sufferers of chronic kidney failure has ... manage their corporate validation process. The global ... software solution to manage their validation processes ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , Schweiz, April 27, 2016 ... Sachs CEO Forums in Zürich gab Strekin ... führenden Wirkstoffkandidaten STR001 zur Erhaltung des Resthörvermögens ... wurde, bekannt. Für die umfassende Phase-II-Doppelblindstudie mit ... Frankreich angeworben. STR001 wird während der Operation ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... titled, "Skincare Devices Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... to the report, the global skincare devices market was ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 10.1% from ... 2023. Browse the full Skincare Devices Market (Treatment ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: