Depression is a lot more common than we think. According to the World Health Organization 300 million people battle with depression globally (related: Depressed? Does It Boil Down To Chemical Imbalance?). It’s a serious mental disorder that disturbs all aspects of our lives, but thankfully many scientist are conducting research on this subject. If you are wondering what new studies on depression have been published this year. Don’t worry I got you covered:
- In a study published by the Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging discovered that negative emotions can be strengthened in the right frontal lobe of the brain. In depression, emotions are processed in this region. When there are disruptions in this area negative emotions are increased, while positive ones decrease. Scientists demonstrated that magnetic stimulation outside the brain helped reduce people’s response to fear better than inhibitory stimulation currently used to treat depression. This investigation sheds light on a new possible treatment.
- Researchers from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania gathered information from numerous studies and demonstrated that sleep deprivation administered in controlled environments can reduce depressive symptoms in patients. This is done by allowing people to sleep for three to four hours and forcing them to stay awake for 20 to 21 hours. This is done during a major depressive episode, providing relief to approximately 40 to 60 percent of patients who would have to wait weeks or month for antidepressants to take effect.
- Scientist from the University of Cambridge found a chemical (GABA) in the memory part of the brain (prefrontal cortex) that suppresses unwanted thoughts. This allows individuals to control intrusive negative memories from becoming overwhelming. It’s a survival mechanism, and can help explain why people battle with mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. When this brain process fails, people can live with a pathological inability to control their thoughts affecting their mental health. This study sheds light on possible new treatments that can target this area.
- Researches analyzed electronic medical records and found that acne increased the risk of developing major depression in the first five years of diagnosis. 63 percent of patients diagnosed with acne within the first year were at risk of depression. This study demonstrated that people with skin conditions such as acne see it more than just blemishes, its something that creates great concern affecting their mental health.
- Investigators from Johns Hopkins analyzed the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program taught in schools. This program teaches the symptoms of depression and how its treated. Researches found that the students with depression who took this course were more likely to ask for help from a teacher or friend. Another benefit of this program is that the stigma around depression diminished. This study shows that it is beneficial to teach about mental disorders in schools. It allows teenagers to understand what they are going through and empowers them to ask for help.
Depression is a serious illness that many people battle with, but thankfully investigators are conducting numerous studies on this subject. Little by little the research done on depression is furthering our understanding. Do you like these types of articles? If so let me know in the comment section below. What are your opinions of these studies?
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Science Daily. (2018). Acne linked with increased risk of depression. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180207120651.htm
Science Daily. (2018). Magnetic brain stimulation alters negative emotion perception. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180206115158.htm
Science Daily. (2018). Scientists identify mechanism that helps us inhibit unwanted thoughts. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171103085308.htm
Science Daily. (2018). Sleep deprivation is an effective anti-depressant for nearly half of depressed patients, study suggests. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170919140416.htm