Poor brain connectivity behind many faces of depressionFebruary 28th, 2012 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 28 (IANS) Brain connectivity may be behind many faces of depression such as anxiety, poor attention and concentration and disturbed sleep, says a report.
This is what University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have demonstrated for the first time in people with depression. Indeed, their brains are widely hyperconnected.
“The brain must be able to regulate its connections to function properly,” said study’s co-author Andrew Leuchter, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behaviour at UCLA, the journal Public Library of Science One reports.
“The brain must be able to first synchronize, and then later desynchronize, different areas in order to react, regulate mood, learn and solve problems,” said Leuchter, according to an UCLA statement.
The depressed brain, Leuchter said, maintains its ability to form functional connections but loses the ability to turn these connections off. “This inability to control how brain areas work together may help explain some of the symptoms in depression,” he said.
In the study, the largest of its kind, researchers studied the functional connections of the brain in 121 adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder, or MDD. They measured the synchronization of electrical signals from the brain, brain waves, to study networks among the different brain regions.
Brain rhythms in some of these networks regulate the release of serotonin and other brain chemicals that help control mood, said Leuchter.
“The area of the brain that showed the greatest degree of abnormal connections was the prefrontal cortex, which is heavily involved in regulating mood and solving problems,” he said. “When brain systems lose their flexibility in controlling connections, they may not be able to adapt to change.”
- Tobacco smoking negatively affects teens' brains - Mar 03, 2011
- Brain's crossed wires cause depression - Dec 09, 2011
- Simple test detects signs of suicidal thoughts in people on antidepressants - Apr 10, 2010
- Now, early warning system for signs of suicidality - Apr 10, 2010
- Why fake medicines work as effectively for some people as real ones - Jul 21, 2009
- Source of happiness may lie in your gut - Jun 13, 2012
- Magnetic pulse therapy may help treat depression: Study - May 10, 2012
- Seeing brain activity helps people improve their ability to control thoughts - Apr 09, 2011
- Obsession with cleanliness 'could be making people depressed' - Apr 20, 2011
- Feel-good transmitter levels in brain determine anger - Sep 19, 2011
- Gene therapy to brain may treat major depression - Oct 21, 2010
- New biomarker can bring rapid relief from major depression - Sep 11, 2009
- Cleaning obsession could be making us more depressed - Apr 19, 2011
- Anti-depressants doing more harm than good: Study - Apr 25, 2012
- How memory is disrupted in people with disease linked to learning disabilities - Jul 17, 2010
Tags: abnormal connections, brain areas, brain chemicals, brain regions, brain rhythms, brain systems, brain waves, depressive disorder, electrical signals, human behaviour, leuchter, major depressive disorder, many faces, poor attention, poor brain, prefrontal cortex, public library of science, semel institute, ucla researchers, university of california los angeles