Depression's Physical Roots In Brain Discovered

Posted: Oct 19 2016, 7:33am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Depression's Physical Roots in Brain Discovered
The human medial (reward-related, OFC13) and lateral (non-reward-related, OFC47/12) orbitofrontal cortex networks that show different functional connectivity in patients with depression. Credit: Dr Wei Cheng
  • Physical root of depression in the brain discovered

Scientists have found the part of the brain where depression has a physical impact making way for new therapies

Depression is a disease which has been increasing in many populations around the world with an alarming frequency. The disease is becoming a common state in modern society, so much so, that traces of the anti-depressant drug Prozac can be found in traces in the tap water.

Scientists have found the part of the brain where depression leaves an impact physically. Research carried out by the University of Warwick, UK, and Fudan University in China, have unearthed the physical root of depression.

According to the study data, depression is located in the non-reward center of the brain. Basically this is the part which is most affected by depression in a physical sense.

The non-reward center is also known as the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. The research also reveals a person with depression feels a sense of not receiving a reward in addition to loss and disappointment.

When emotional rewards are not received the area in the brain becomes active. This non-reward area is also connected to the part of brain which deals with a person’s sense of self. In this way depression also has a way of stimulating low self-esteem and feelings of personal loss.

All these new discoveries may lead to ground breaking new methods of therapy for depression. What they have done in this research is gone down to the root cause of the illness.

Using this data a therapy can be come up with which can help depressed individuals to stop focusing on negative feelings. The study was carried out on 1,000 individuals in China.

The brains of all these individuals were scanned using precision MRI technique. The scan analysed the links between the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex parts of the human brain.

The research, titled 'Medial reward and lateral non-reward orbitofrontal cortex circuits change in opposite directions in depression', is published in the journal Brain.

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