epressant action in depressed patients. The medial frontal regions have been previously linked to the cognitive aspects of emotional processing involving self-reference, reward and positive reinforcement. In both the recovered depressed patients as well as the acutely depressed patients, these brain areas show changes in response to intense negative emotional stimuli in a way that is markedly different from that of healthy subjects.
In the study, 25 adults underwent a temporary mood provocation technique -- memory induced sadness. The participants comprised three groups:
- An experimental group of 10 women who had recovered from a major depression (nine of the 10 were on a maintenance anti-depressant, one was medication free);
- An acute depression group of seven women who were actively suffering from a major depression (all, except one, were medication free during the study); and
- A healthy group of eight women with no personal or family history of depression.
At the same time as they were recalling an extremely sad experience in their life (for example, the death of a loved one), their brains were scanned using positron emission tomography (PET), which consists of computerized multi-colored images showing where maximum activity (blood flow) is occurring.
As first reported in May 1999, also in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Mayberg, Liotti and colleagues at the University of Texas identified a "see-saw" relationship -- increases in one set of regions with simultaneous decreases in the others -- between the emotional (limbic) and cognitive (cortical) areas of the brain when healthy subjects go from a neutral to an acute sad state. The reverse pattern -- limbic decreases, cortical increases -- was seen as depressed patients were successfully treated with anti-depressants.
In this latest extension of this work, fully recovered depressed patients (who had been well for over a year) and actively depressPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Kelly Connelly
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