04

Dec

Understanding the brain is important for understanding depression and according to new research, there may be a new way to understand both.

Within this study, it’s been found that effectively targeting areas of the brain with electrical stimulation can improve one’s mood. While electrical stimulation has already been known to help, stimulating the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) “reliably produced acute improvement in mood in patients who suffered from depression” (“Effective New Target”, 2018).

The effects of this were also only seen in patients that suffered from mood symptoms, implying the stimulation is used to “normalize activity in mood-related circuitry.”

“Stimulation induced a pattern of activity in brain regions connected to OFC that was similar to patterns seen when patients naturally experienced positive mood states…” stated Vikram Rao of the University of California (“Effective New Target”, 2018).

This study was performed specifically on individuals that suffer from epilepsy and depression, and who have electrodes on their brain to “pinpoint the origin of their seizures”. The team of researchers utilized these electrodes to target the OFC, which is a central circuit place for many parts of the brain (“Effective New Target”, 2018).

After stimulation was performed, the researchers collected mood reports and surveys from patients. “The findings show that mood can be immediately improved by electrical stimulation of a relatively small area of the brain…[it was also found] that mood disorders are the result of dysfunction in brain circuits” (“Effective New Target”, 2018).


References:

San Diego State University. (2018, October 29). Reduced screen time for young highly recommended for well-being. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181029150931.htm