Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mental illness: Early-life depression and anxiety changes structure of developing brain

Date:
November 16, 2011
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
New research identifies the brain chemicals and circuits involved in mental illnesses like schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, giving potential new directions to their treatment. In addition, research with children shows that early-life depression and anxiety changes the structure of the developing brain.

New research identifies the brain chemicals and circuits involved in mental illnesses like schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, giving potential new directions to their treatment. In addition, research with children shows that early-life depression and anxiety changes the structure of the developing brain.

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2011, the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

One in 17 Americans suffer from a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder, making it one of the leading causes of disability. Yet science is only beginning to understand the underlying physical causes of these diseases.

New findings show:

  • Childhood anxiety and depression alter the way the amygdala connects to other regions of the brain. This finding may help explain how early life stress can lead to future emotional and behavioral issues (Shaozheng Qin, PhD, abstract 927.06, see attached summary).
  • In animal studies, a link between two factors associated with schizophrenia, prenatal infection and impaired function of a molecule important in memory (Melissa Burt, abstract 763.11, see attached summary).
  • Researchers have identified a brain chemical important to antidepressant response in mice. The findings may help in the design of therapies for major depression (Maha Elsayed, abstract 904.10, see attached summary).
  • The connections between two specific areas of the brain -- the prefrontal cortex and the dorsal raphe nucleus -- may contribute to depression. Stimulating these circuits in rats had an antidepressant effect (Melissa Warden, PhD, abstract 306.15, see attached summary).
  • An enzyme called STEP is elevated in the brains of people with schizophrenia. Mice lacking this chemical did not develop schizophrenia-like behaviors (Nikisha Carty, PhD, abstract 238.03, see attached summary).

"If we can fully understand the roots of mental illness in brain circuitry and systems, we may be able to develop better treatment targets for the millions suffering from these diseases," said press conference moderator Carol Tamminga, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern, who is an expert on schizophrenia.

This research was supported by national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Mental illness: Early-life depression and anxiety changes structure of developing brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115175811.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2011, November 16). Mental illness: Early-life depression and anxiety changes structure of developing brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115175811.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Mental illness: Early-life depression and anxiety changes structure of developing brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115175811.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. 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:
from the past week

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