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Depression related to brain mechanism, identified by a new research

Brain mechanism is identified as the reason behind depression which has been found by a new research

Depression related to brain mechanism.
Depression related to brain mechanism. IANS
  • A new research finds out the relation between brain mechanism and depression
  • Brain and memory related areas involved in depression

London, Dec 13, 2017: People suffer from major depressive disorders because of alterations in the activity and connectivity of brain systems underlying reward and memory, suggests new research.

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.

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,” said one of the researchers Edmund Rolls, Professor at University of Warwick in England.

The researchers compared 336 people with major depressive disorder to 350 healthy controls.

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, the study showed.

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,” Rolls said. (IANS)

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Mindfulness meditation may lower major depression risk

The researchers recruited adult patients aged 18 and above with sub-threshold depression from public primary care clinics and randomly assigned them to a BAM intervention group

A new study suggests meditation can reduce stress and anxiety. VOA
  • Mindfulness meditation may reduce depression risk
  • It can also help in curing the depression
  • Mediation has several other benefits as well

Mindfulness meditation training may improve depression symptoms and reduce the incidence of major depression, a new study suggests.

Patients with clinically significant symptoms of depression who do not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder are considered to have sub-threshold depression.

Practice of yoga is believed to heighten the spirit and the body.
Mindfulness meditation can reduce the risk of depression. Wikimedia Commons

According to the researchers from The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care in Hong Kong, sub-threshold depression can cause functional impairment and considerable economic costs, and it is a strong risk factor for developing major depressive disorder.

The study, published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine, undertook a randomised controlled trial to assess the efficacy of group-based behavioural activation with mindfulness (BAM) for treating sub-threshold depression.

Also Read: Online intervention helps teenage moms deal with depression

The researchers recruited adult patients aged 18 and above with sub-threshold depression from public primary care clinics and randomly assigned them to a BAM intervention group or a usual care group.

They randomly allocated 115 patients to the BAM intervention and 116 patients to usual care. The BAM group was provided with eight two-hour weekly BAM sessions by trained allied health care workers. Patients in the usual care group received usual medical care with no additional psychological interventions.

The primary outcome was depressive symptoms measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-II at 12 months. Secondary outcomes included incidence of major depressive disorder at 12 months. We assessed quality of life, activity and circumstances change, functional impairment, and anxiety at baseline, end of the intervention, 5 months, and 12 months, the researchers said.

Practice of yoga is believed to heighten the spirit and the body.
The group which meditated had lesser risk of depression. Wikimedia Commons

At 12 months, compared with usual care peers, BAM patients had a slightly more favourable change in levels of depressive symptoms on the Beck Depression Inventory-II. The incidence of major depressive disorder was lower with BAM, whereas groups did not differ significantly on other secondary outcomes at 12 months.

The researchers, including Samuel Y. S. Wong, suggested that BAM group appears to be efficacious for decreasing depressive symptoms and reducing the incidence of major depression among patients with sub-threshold depression in primary care. IANS

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