Brain 'hyperconnectivity' linked to depression
People with depression have hyperactive brain activity, according to a study published online Tuesday that offers new insight into the brain dysfunction that causes depression.
Researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles studied the functional connections of the brain in 121 individuals, ages 21-80, who had been diagnosed with depression. They used quantitative electroencephalography to measure the synchronization of brain waves (electrical signals from the brain) to study networks among the different brain regions.
"All the depressed patients showed increased connectivity," says psychiatrist Andrew Leuchter, lead author of the study, published in the international online journal PLoS ONE. "We know from brain science studying normal individuals that the connections are turning off and on all the time. If you take a snapshot of a depressed person's brain, you're going to find the connections turned on at any given time."
Similar research with fewer individuals, and using a different measurement tool, was published in 2010 in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Psychiatrist Yvette Sheline, director of the Center for Depression, Stress and Neuroimaging at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found that depressed subjects had increased connectivity to one specific brain region she studied.
"Any time you use a larger sample you have much more reliable data," says Sheline, whose work used fMRI to study brain connectivity in 24 people. The UCLA research studied a range of brain regions and, with 121 participants, is considered the largest of its kind.
Leuchter says the brain needs to be able to process lots of different types of information and regulate many different processes.
"What our research shows is that the depressed brain appears to be less versatile. It's connecting all the regions all the time and is not able to shut down those connections in a normal way," says Leuchter, who also directs UCLA's Laboratory of Brain, Behavior and Pharmacology. "We don't know whether this hyperconnectivity is responsible for the symptoms."
Among symptoms associated with depression are anxiety, poor attention and concentration, memory issues and sleep disturbances.
(c)2012 USA Today
Distributed by MCT Information Services
- Depressed? Crossed wires in the brain Dec 08, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study shows brain's response to sadness can predict relapses into depression May 26, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Depression Causes Malfunctions in Brain's Pleasure Center Aug 25, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Barrow researcher launches depression study Mar 09, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Depression saps endurance of the brain's reward circuitry Dec 21, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
22 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
Neuroscience 12 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
Neuroscience 15 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (13) | 0 |
You're standing near an airport luggage carousel and your bag emerges on the conveyor belt, prompting you to spring into action. How does your brain make the shift from passively waiting to taking action when ...
Neuroscience 16 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
Neuroscience 17 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
In a remote fishing community in Venezuela, a lone fisherman sits on a cliff overlooking the southern Caribbean Sea. This man –– the lookout –– is responsible for directing his comrades on the water, ...
Neuroscience 19 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Is it permissible to harm one to save many? Those who tend to say "yes" when faced with this classic dilemma are likely to be deficient in a specific kind of empathy, according to a report published in the scientific journal ...
13 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Phthalates: Study links chemicals widely found in plastics, processed food to elevated blood pressure in children, teens
Plastic additives known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and—according to the ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
17 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (7) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
11 hours ago | 4 / 5 (4) | 0
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Researchers at USC have found that a class of pharmaceuticals can both prevent and treat Alzheimer's Disease in mice.
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (6) | 0 |