A team of neuroscientists has identified circuits that could play a role in mental illness such as depression. Some mental illnesses can result in part of the brain’s inability to properly assign events emotional associations. For example, people who are depressed often do not feel happy, even when they experience something you normally enjoy. The MIT study reveals how two populations of neurons in the brain contribute to this process. The researchers found that these neurons, located in a region known as kernel size amygdala form parallel channels that carry information about events pleasant or unpleasant.
Learning more about how this information is lost is heading could shed light on mental illness, including depression addiction anxiety and disorder PTSD , said lead author Kay Tye. “I think this project really cuts through specific categorizations of diseases and could be applied to almost any mental illness,” says Tye. The findings suggest that to fully understand how the brain processes emotions, neuroscientists have to delve into the more specific populations, Tye said. (Read: Changes in brain structure may be the reason why hallucinations )
‘five or 10 years, everything was all about specific brain regions. And then in the last four or five years there has been an increased focus on the specific projections. And now, this study presents a window to the next era, when even the specific projections are not specific enough. There are still heterogeneity even when subdivided at this level, “he added.” We still have a long way to go in terms of appreciating the complexities of right brain “(Read:. Depression or anxiety can be a sign of brain tumor )
long term, the researchers hope their work will lead to new therapies for mental illness. “the first step is to define the circuits and then try to go in animal models these pathologies and see how these circuits are functioning differently. Then we can try to develop strategies to restore and try to translate that into human patients, “says senior co-author Anna Beyeler The study appears in the journal neuron (Read:.. How does mental illness of neurons in the brain )
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