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Home Industry News Brain region identified as physical source of depression

Brain region identified as physical source of depression

19th October 2016

Scientists have identified the part of the brain that is affected by depression and can therefore be considered the physical source of the disease.

University of Warwick researchers allied with colleagues from Fudan University in China to scan the brains of almost 1,000 Chinese people using high precision MRI, in order to analyse the connections between the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex.

These parts of the brain are among those most heavily affected by depression, and by analysing them the team was able to identify the lateral orbitofrontal cortex as the most likely physical source of depression.

Becoming active when rewards are not received, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex could be causing depression by leaving the sufferer with a persistent sense of loss and disappointment associated with missing out on expected rewards.

It is also connected with the part of the brain that regulates a person's sense of self, thereby potentially leading to thoughts of personal loss and low self-esteem.

Professor Jianfeng Feng of the University of Warwick said: "Our finding, with the combination of big data we collected around the world and our novel methods, enables us to locate the roots of depression, which should open up new avenues for better therapeutic treatments."

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