Monday August 19, 2019

Brain mechanism behind depression, an explained research

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350 million people are known to suffer depression Pixabay
350 million people are known to suffer depression Pixabay

The findings, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, provide clues as to which regions of the brain could be at the root of symptoms, such as reduced happiness and pleasure, or negative memories, in depression.

Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay
Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay

Findings

  • Brain regions involved in reward and subjective pleasure received less drive (or reduced effective connectivity) in patients, which may contribute to the decreased feeling of happiness in depression.
  • In addition, brain regions involved in punishment and responses when a reward is not received had increased activity, providing evidence for the source of sadness that occurs in the disorder.
  • Memory-related areas of the brain had increased activity and connectivity in people with depression, which the authors suggest may be related to heightened memory processing, possibly of unpleasant memories, in depression.

“These findings are part of a concerted approach to better understand the brain mechanisms related to depression, and thereby to lead to new ways of understanding and treating depression,” said one of the researchers Edmund Rolls, Professor at University of Warwick in England.

86 million people in South-east Asia suffer from depression Pixabay
86 million people in South-east Asia suffer from depression Pixabay

Method

  • For the study, the researchers used a new approach to measure the influence of one brain region on another, referred to as effective connectivity, in depression.
  • The approach goes beyond the limitations of previous brain imaging studies, which show if — but not how — activity of different brain regions is related.
  • The new method allows the effect of one brain region on another to be measured in depression, in order to discover more about which brain systems make causal contributions to depression.
  • The researchers compared 336 people with major depressive disorder to 350 healthy controls. (IANS)

 

Next Story

Compound Present in Red Wine can Treat Depression and Anxiety

"Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders," said Ying Xu

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Red Wine, Depression, Anxiety
The plant compound resveratrol displays anti-stress effects by blocking the expression of an enzyme which controls stress in the brain. Pixabay

In a good news for wine lovers, researchers have found a compound present in red wine which can treat depression and anxiety.

The plant compound resveratrol displays anti-stress effects by blocking the expression of an enzyme which controls stress in the brain.

“Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders,” said Ying Xu, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo in the US.

The findings, published in the journal Neuropharmacolog, shed light onto how neurological processes are impacted by resveratrol — a compound having numerous health benefits and found in the skin and seeds of grapes and berries.

Red Wine, Depression, Anxiety
In a good news for wine lovers, researchers have found a compound present in red wine which can treat depression and anxiety. Pixabay

While research has identified resveratrol to have antidepressant effects, the compound’s relationship to phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), an enzyme influenced by the stress hormone corticosterone, was unknown.

Corticosterone regulates the body’s response to stress. Too much stress, however, can lead to excessive amounts of the hormone circulating in the brain and, ultimately, to depression or other mental disorders.

The research also reveals that PDE4, induced by excessive amounts of corticosterone, causes depression- and anxiety-like behaviour.

The enzyme lowers cyclic adenosine monophosphate — a messenger molecule that signals physiological changes such as cell division, change, migration and death — in the body, leading to physical alterations in the brain.

Also Read- Microsoft Releases Beta Version of Updated Cortana App for Windows 10

Resveratrol displayed neuroprotective effects against corticosterone by inhibiting the expression of PDE4. The research lays the groundwork for the use of the compound in novel antidepressants.

According to the researchers, although red wine contains resveratrol, consumption of alcohol has various health risks, including addiction. (IANS)