Sunday September 23, 2018

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
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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)

 

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Depression in Children Stay Undetected by Parents and Teachers- Study

The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves

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Studies: More Green Space, Less Crime, Depression in Poor Areas Pixabay

Parents and teachers may find it difficult to detect depression in young children, that can affect their social skills and academics, a new study shows.

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as many as 2-3 per cent of children aged between 6-12 might have a major depressive disorder.

But parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children.

The findings, appearing in the Journal of School Psychology, showed that children who show mild to severe symptoms of depression in second and third grades are six times more likely to have skill deficits, such as difficulties with social skills or academics, than children without symptoms.

However, when teachers and parents were asked to rate a child’s level of depression, there was only about 5-10 per cent overlap in their ratings.

Depression
Parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children. Pixabay

“Some people would view that overlap as the truth about a child’s well-being and areas of disagreement as errors, but we need to explore the possibility that each of them are seeing different aspects of children’s behaviour and mental health,” said Keith Herman, professor in the University of Missouri (MU), College of Education.

For the study, the team completed profile analyses of 643 children in early elementary school to explore how patterns between student, teacher and parent reporting can be used to gain a holistic picture of a child’s mental health.

Herman suggested that mental health professionals could work with teachers and parents to identify depressive symptoms early by including self reports from children in mental health evaluations.

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“The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves,” noted Herman.

“However, even if a child doesn’t say they feel depressed, certain outward behaviours might provide clues to the state of the child’s mental health. It’s important for teachers and parents to catch these behaviours early to prevent long-term problems that occur with depression,” he said. (IANS)