Neuroimaging studies of interconnected brain networks may provide the "missing links" between behavioral and biological models of cognitive vulnerability to depression, according to a research review in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer and reported by Medical News Today.
Research on neural network interactions and related brain activity patterns has provided new insights into the thought processes that make some people vulnerable to depression, according to the update by Dr. Shuqiao Yao of Central South University in Changsha, China, and colleagues. They believe this "neural system perspective" might help in clarifying cognitive vulnerability versus resilience to depression, perhaps leading to the development of new treatment approaches.
Cognitive (thinking-related) factors have a well-established impact on vulnerability to major depressive disorder. Cognitive processes involving rumination and "negatively biased" self-assessments are believed to be key factors contributing to the development of depression.
"Although it is generally accepted that cognitive factors contribute to the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder, there are missing links between behavioral and biological models of depression," Dr. Yao and coauthors write. "Advances in brain imaging, especially in the field of intrinsic neural network research, may provide a useful tool to identify the missing neural-behavioral links."
The authors discuss and analyze recent neuroimaging research on the "abnormal activities and interactions" within and between brain networks that may affect cognitive vulnerability. Studies have identified increased activity in one important brain network, called the default mode network (DMN), in people at risk for depression--for example, those with a family history of major depressive disorder.
This pattern of hyperactivity in the DMN may be the neural basis of the "maladaptive rumination" contributing to cognitive vulnerability to depression. There's also evidence that increased "functional connectivity" between the DMN and other brain networks may suppress activity in brain areas involved in generating a positive mood. To read more click here.
This conference will bring together leading clinical practitioners, academics, service providers and mental health experts to deliberate and discuss Mental Health issues confronting Australia and New Zealand.
The conference program will be designed to challenge, inspire, demonstrate and encourage participants while facilitating discussion. To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.