Navigation Links
Women in the throes of depression portray differences in brain chemistry

A novel study has indicated that there are crucial differences in brain chemistry among women suffering depression, that impacts stress and emotions.//

The study adds further evidence that depression has its roots in specific alterations within the brain -- specifically in the endogenous opioid system that is a central part of the brain's natural pain and stress-reduction system. The findings also show significant variation between individuals with depression – variation that seems to be linked to whether or not the patients respond to an antidepressant medication.

The study, performed by researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School affiliated with the U-M Depression Center, is published in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. It's based on brain imaging, blood chemistry and other data from 14 women with major depression, and 14 healthy women of about the same age and background. The women with depression were not taking antidepressants when the study began.

"This work gives further evidence of individual differences in brain mechanisms that are altered in major depression," says senior author Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D., the Jenkins Research Professor of Depression and associate professor of psychiatry and radiology. "We found these differences in the response of the endogenous opioid system. Some women, but not others, with major depression, showed exaggerated responses in this system when undergoing an emotional challenge."

That emotional challenge was the summoning of memories of a very sad event in their lives, which the researchers asked the women to recall while they were lying in the positron emission tomography (PET) scanner having their brains imaged. The women recalled the death or serious illness of a friend or family member, a past divorce or breakup with a boyfriend, or other major difficulties. They also had their brains imaged during a neutral emotional state.

Just before the brain scans, the women also had their blood tested to measure levels of two hormones that are released in response to stress. The depressed women were then prescribed an antidepressant drug and reported regularly about their depression symptoms for the next ten weeks. Those whose depression hadn't eased by the end of the first month received a prescription for an increased dose of antidepressant.

"Women who had more pronounced responses in their stress response mechanisms during brain imaging also showed alterations in hormones, like cortisol, that are sometimes over-secreted in depression," Zubieta explains. "In addition, these women responded poorly to treatment with medication."

The research builds on previous studies that found differences in the body's and brain's stress-response system among people with depression. But this is the first time that specific differences in the mu-opioid system have been shown between people with depression and those without.

Zubieta performed the work with former doctoral student, Susan Kennedy, Ph.D., who is first author on the new paper. They used a brain-imaging technique that the U-M team has previously used to see how the brain responds to pain – and to placebo pain treatment.

The technique uses a form of a drug called carfentanil, which binds to the same receptors on the surface of brain cells that brain chemicals called mu-opioids bind to. Mu-opioids, sometimes also called endorphins, reduce or block the spread of messages related to pain, stress and emotional distress between the body and the brain. They have been called the body's "natural painkillers." The drug is modified to allow it to be "seen" by the PET scanner, so that the researchers can create maps of the specific brain areas where the natural mu-opioids are more or less active at any given time.

In the new study, the researchers also found that the mu-opioid system was overactive in women with depression, even at baseline, when they weren't being asked to recall sad memories.

During the "sadness challenge", the non-depressed women did not show any activation of their mu-opioid system, but the depressed women had a significant activation of that system, and the level of that activation correlated with the intensity of their negative emotional state brought on by the sad memories. Among the non-depressed women, the mu-opioid system was actually less active in some parts of the brain than it had been before they recalled sad memories.

The researchers found differences among the depressed women, too, in some areas of the brain. In the rostral anterior cingulate, which is involved in mood regulation and the integration of sensations and emotions, women who later responded to antidepressant treatment had far lower mu-opioid responses than women who did not respond to medication.

Source-Eurekalert
SA
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Women suffer from sexual dysfunction too
2. Women find difficulty in calling it Quits
3. Women recognise faces better
4. Women more susceptible to brain damage from ecstasy
5. Good News For Women With Gestational Diabetes
6. Unsatisfactory Grade On Womens Health Issues
7. Risk for Pregnant Women
8. Womens strong sense of smell
9. Women need to exercise more to prevent obesity
10. Women benefit from consuming fish
11. Women are at risk with raised cholesterol
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida ... their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers ... as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, ... journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) ... held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, ... dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded in battle and their families. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Southern Illinois University School ... for the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS) Foundation’s Mission of Mercy (MOM). They ... Center in Collinsville. , They expect to treat approximately 2,000 patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... An article ... a possible link between head and neck cancer in individuals with unhealthy oral hygiene ... were evaluated based on whether they had gum disease, brushed their teeth on a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 , , , ... 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s ... Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program ... global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Leading BioSciences Inc., a ... conditions resulting from a breakdown of the mucosal ... Greg Doyle as chief executive officer. Mr. ... management team and board of directors, previously served ... He will provide continued leadership and strategic direction ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: