Scientists Find The “Physical Source” Of Depression

Scans of people suffering from depression and healthy controls show that the disease is associated with the lateral orbitofrontal cortex of the brain. This part of the brain becomes active when receiving punishment, not receiving reward and is also associated with the sense of one self. One can see how in depression, this part of the brain could be activated. This will allow researchers to develop new therapies. Interesting!

 

http://www.iflscience.com/brain/scientists-find-the-physical-source-of-depression/

A recent breakthrough may have found the physical source of depression in the brain. The discovery could lead to some game-changing developments in the way we treat and perceive the mental illness, while also taking a bold step in understanding the physical root cause of depression.

Research by the University of Warwick in the UK and Fudan University in China has shown that depression affects the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. This part of the brain becomes active when suffering punishment or when rewards are not received, suggesting depression could be associated with the sensation of not receiving reward.

“More than one in ten people in their life time suffer from depression, a disease which is so common in modern society and we can even find the remains of Prozac (a depression drug) in the tap water in London,” study author Professor Jianfeng Feng said in a statement. “Our finding, with the combination of big data we collected around the world and our novel methods, enables us to locate the roots of depression which should open up new avenues for better therapeutic treatments in the near future for this horrible disease.”

“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.” University of Warwick

The study was recently published in the neurology journal Brain.

The researchers reached this conclusion after scanning the brains of 909 people in China with a high-precision MRI. Of these patients, 421 were diagnosed with major depression, while the remaining 488 were control subjects.

This imaging technique was able to show activity in the connections between different parts of the human brain affected by depression, namely the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. The lateral orbitofrontal cortex, associated with non-reward, showed considerably stronger connectivity in those in the depressive group.

As the team notes, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex is also connected with the area that is associated with one’s sense of self. Stronger connections were found between these two areas in those suffering from depression, perhaps explaining why people with depression often have thoughts of personal loss and low self-esteem.

“The new findings on how depression is related to different functional connectivities of the orbitofrontal cortex have implications for treatments in the light of a recent non-reward attractor theory of depression,” computational neuroscientist Professor Edmund Rolls said in a statement.

Updated 24/10/16: Top main image has been changed to show a more typical MRI scan 

6 thoughts on “Scientists Find The “Physical Source” Of Depression

  1. Sorry to come across as whiny in this comment, my dear Samina, but I want a cure, dammit! 😉 You know I do!!!!

    At least research is being conducted and that’s essential, obviously.
    But I’m impatient. I’m terrified I could get struck by depression again….
    I know you get it.
    Xo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So many people understandably come to this wonderful forum obviously in search of healing in the midst of empathy and understanding . Rarely can something be both supportive and a real educational experience as well . My contribution today has to do With when one becomes whole ….either again as they were .. or for the first time .I like to compare it to the old saying ” be careful what you wish for ” . “Where to now “so to speak lol ! Sometimes one can be so enthusiastic to Love … so willing to share …. so full of life to explore ….. that they want to relive events .. people .. places .. and thingZ .. only this time with PRESENCE AND …… INTIMACY . To actually EXPERIENCE an EXPERIENCE ! But in there desire ..the void will quickly accumulate happiness and the heart may direct itself to that which it has always sought … no matter how unattainable . It’s not intended to mislead or hurt … but to give the BEST OF ONESELF to another whom in your eyes is beautiful in every way .. inside and out … who perhaps simply comes along at the wrong time and is not meant to be … and you realize that you have to be strong … and be a man .. and refocus on the people who have been in your life through all the bad .. and make thingZ a little better for all each and every day… And hope that the person whom you leave behind forgives you … and moves on their hurt and disappointment . Lesson ..YOU HAVE TO RELEARN EVERYTHING AND BREAK THE CYCLE OF OLD HABITS .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Very profound thoughts, dear Len. To become whole again as you were, or for the first time, is something that almost everyone hopes for! And living in the moment, experiencing an experience in the here and now! Are you sure your last name isn’t Tolle? 😊 Ah yes the heartbreak of finding the right one at the wrong time. But if our lives get better because of this, then it was worth it. Be well and be happy , my friends. You need to write s book! You are so chock full of great ideas and insights! Lots of hugs.

      Like

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