Researchers Know the Physical Roots of Depression and It Could Potentially Lead to Better Treatments

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Researchers Found the Physical Roots of Depression Potentially Leading to Better Treatments
PHOTOGRAPH: Pixabay | Depression occurs to 1 out every 4 people before they reach 24 years old.

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. A recent study has discovered the physical source of depression which would open up to improved methods of treatments for the mental problem that affects over 350 million people globally.

Disappointment Results From Not Getting Rewards

A research conducted by the scientists from the University of Warwick in the UK and Fudan University in China determined the physical root of the disease. They were able to locate the non-reward area of the brain which is called the lateral orbitofrontal cortex.

This area of the brain gets activated when rewards are not received. That is why there is a feeling of loss and disappointment associated when a person does not get fulfilled. At the same time, it is connected with the brain’s part where one’s sense of self is associated.

Around 1,000 participants in China had their brains scanned with high precision MRI, analyzing the lateral and medial orbitofrontal cortex connections. These are different parts of the brain affected by the disease.

Moreover, a reduced connectivity is found in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and reward brain area. In turn, there is a dwindling spotlight on one’s happy memories.

Search for a Better Treatment

Depression is a major depressive disorder that is a common, yet serious, mood problem. It causes one person to get affected on the way they think, feel, and function every day like sleeping, working, and eating.

This disorder is more than the feeling of being sad. A sufferer cannot just “snap out of it” and it is not just “all in their head,” but there are actually changes in the brain chemistry that occur. Sadly, many people are affected, with one out every four adults before they even reach the age of 24.

Aside from the change in how a person handles one’s self, physical complications are also one of its dangers. Depressed people tend to be more prone to illnesses and the World Health Organization (WHO) even projected it to be the second highest medical cause of disability by 2030 after HIV/AIDS.

That is why looking for better therapeutic treatments are critically needed. Professor Jianfeng Feng of Warwick and Fudan says their finding would “locate the roots” of the mood disorder and open up new channels for a breakthrough in treating the horrible disease.

Depression affects people at any age, gender, demographic, geographic location and social position. If we are more educated about it, including how we treat the disorder, many people going through this would be cured and would no longer need to suffer in darkness alone.


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