Brain scans can PREDICT teen depression weeks before their state of mind changes, research shows
- About half of all people who are ultimately depressed have their first episode in adolescence
- Depression in young people and teenagers can be difficult to diagnose with the help of subjective tests
- University of Colorado scientists discovered that brain attention systems function differently in teenagers who are or will become depressed
- They claim that the tests can be a faster and more accurate way to get depression earlier
Clinical depression in teenagers can be diagnosed faster and more accurately with brain scans, a new study suggests.
Researchers discovered that disrupted functioning of attention-related brain systems can help predict the course of teenage depression.
They explained that proper coordination of networks in the brain helps us to regulate our attention between external goals and self-directed or emotional thinking.
But University of Colorado, Boulder, scientists found abnormalities in coordination between networks were not only apparent in teenagers with more severe depression, but predicted elevated depressive symptoms two weeks later.
Using brain scans, researchers at the University of Colorado discovered that poor coordination between two brain networks was a signal for teenagers and even predicted depression (file)
& # 39; The teenage years are a time of remarkable growth and opportunity because young people forge new relationships, learn to cope with intense emotions and make the transition to independence & # 39 ;, said the lead author of the research, Dr. Roselinde Kaiser.
& # 39; However, it is also during adolescence that a high and growing number of teenagers experience clinical depression and related mood problems for the first time.
& # 39; Our challenge as clinicians, scientists and parents is: how do we predict which teenagers will experience mood problems in the near future? & # 39;
Dr. Kaiser, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, and her colleagues tested the idea of using MRI scans to predict future mood health.
They measured the activity of fronto-like networks while teenagers played a difficult computer game with emotional images.
She said current prediction tools usually use self-reporting, which can be unreliable in teenagers.
& # 39; Our results showed that adolescents showed imbalanced coordination in brain systems & # 39 ;, said Dr. Kaiser.
& # 39; That is, (their scans showed) lower coordination between areas involved in focused attention and higher coordination between areas involved in self-focused thinking – also reported greater increases in depression two weeks later, greater mood swings and higher intensity of negative mood in daily life. & # 39;
She said that the functioning of the network provides a better prediction of the future state of mind than the current symptoms – an important distinction, as it suggests that the functioning of the fronto-inular network could predict who could get a more severe depression between two teenagers with the same current symptoms.
The findings were published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.
& # 39; This very interesting study emphasizes the important role that frontoinsular circuits, measured using MRI during the processing of emotional stimuli, can play in regulating our mood, and how disorders in the function of this network can underlie to the current and persistent negative mood states, & # 39; said Dr. Cameron Carter, editor of the magazine.
Although the study assessed the health of the state of mind only two weeks later, he said the findings indicate that the functioning of the frontoïnet network can be useful to predict future mood health in teenagers.
If confirmed in longer clinical trials, the research team said their findings suggest that the reading could be a neurobiological risk predictor to guide interventions to prevent major depression.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) health (t) depression