Here's how depression and anxiety appear in our brains (14:00)
Oaxaca de Juárez, 10 November. Researchers have long known that two brain structures, the amygdala and the hippocampus are involved in the processing of emotions and states of mind, but they do not know exactly how.
Now, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have identified a unique frequency of brainwaves associated with communication between these two brain structures, which may predict a worsening of the mood related to depression and depression. 39; anxiety.
Recording of brain activity
The researchers took the opportunity to perform intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) to measure brain wave activity of 21 patients with epilepsy who were waiting for brain surgery to locate their crisis.
In these patients a wide range of brain activity was recorded over 7-10 days, focusing in particular on some deep brain structures that were previously involved in mood regulation.
During that time, patients regularly recorded their mood during the day.
Subsequently, the researchers used computer algorithms to match the patterns of brain activity with the mood changes reported by the patients.
After comparing brainwave activity with self-reported daily dailies, 13 out of 21 patients showed fluctuations in electrical activity at a brainwave frequency in the range of 13 to 30 cycles / second , between the amygdala and the hippocampus. the one related to the depressed mood.
Fundamentally, this study offers a new set of tools and a new way of seeing how the brain works and how it is related to mood swings and possibly some mental illness.
Potential new treatments
The researchers point out that understanding how this communication works could allow the development of new ways to selectively treat these parts of the brain.
The dott. Edward F. Chang, affiliated with the Institute for Neuroscience at UCSF and co-author of the research, commented:
"We are excited to find out how the communication between the amygdala and the hippocampus contributes to emotional processing and how this signal correlates with changes in people's moods".
The authors of the study express that the results of this research could be useful to develop new treatments directed to this activity in the brain, which could, for example, try to control or decrease the excess of communication between the amygdala and l & # 39; hippocampus.