Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clinical Depression Causes Early Malfunctions In The Brain’s Pleasure Center, Study Shows

Date:
August 24, 2009
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Summary:
Clinically depressed individuals are less capable of finding pleasure in activities they previously enjoyed, a recent study has shown. Research shows reduced brain function in the reward center of the brain in depressed individuals, when compared to healthy subjects.

Clinically depressed individuals are less capable of finding pleasure in activities they previously enjoyed, a recent study has proven. Research featured in the August 26 issue of the NeuroReport shows reduced brain function in the reward center of the brain in depressed individuals, when compared to healthy subjects.

The study was conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a researcher at the Lawson Health Research Institute, and is the first scientific publication of data obtained by the newly developed First Episode Mood & Anxiety Program (FEMAP) research arm at the London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, Canada.

To investigate the effects of depression on brain activity, Dr. Osuch and her team asked 15 healthy subjects and 16 recently depressed subjects to provide a list of their favourite music as well as identify music that they neither liked nor disliked (neutral music). The subjects then listened to their musical selections for three minutes while a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner measured the neural activity in their brain.

The researchers found that the healthy subjects showed more brain activity in specific regions when they listed to their favourite music compared to the depressed subjects. More specifically, several regions of the brain that are associated with reward processing were shown to be less activated in the depressed individuals, suggesting that even the most basic capacity of enjoyment seems to be malfunctioning in this area of the brain in those who have depression. This was true in spite of no difference in how enjoyable the two groups rated listening to the music in the scanner.

"Our results revealed significant responses within the areas of the brain that are associated with reward processing in healthy individuals. They also showed significant deficits in these neurophysiological responses in recently depressed subjects compared to the healthy subjects,” explains Dr. Osuch. “It is known that depressed individuals experience anhedonia—a loss of enjoyment in previously pleasurable activities. The study results show that for recently depressed individuals this loss of enjoyment is linked to very specific parts of the brain which are involved with experiencing pleasure. If we can target these areas of the brain through treatment, we have the potential to treat depression earlier, right at the source.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Osuch, Elizabeth A; Bluhm, Robyn L; et al. Brain activation to favorite music in healthy controls and depressed patients. Neuroreport, 2009; 20 (13): 1204 DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32832f4da3

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Clinical Depression Causes Early Malfunctions In The Brain’s Pleasure Center, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090819125516.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2009, August 24). Clinical Depression Causes Early Malfunctions In The Brain’s Pleasure Center, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090819125516.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Clinical Depression Causes Early Malfunctions In The Brain’s Pleasure Center, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090819125516.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins