open access

Vol 1, No 2 (2004)
Review paper
Published online: 2004-06-16
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Neuroanatomy of depression in the light of functional brain imaging

Jan Jaracz
Psychiatria 2004;1(2):73-79.

open access

Vol 1, No 2 (2004)
Prace poglądowe - nadesłane
Published online: 2004-06-16

Abstract

The application of functional brain imaging in psychiatry has opened new opportunities in investigations of pathogenesis of mental disorders. Ventral (amygdala/orbitofrontal cortices) and dorsal (hipocampal/cingulated) divisions of limbic system are responsible of regulation of emotions in humans. Several studies using functional brain imaging in depression found the decrease of metabolism in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and caudate nucleus and increases in amygdala, subgenual cingulate and orbitofrontal prefrontal cortex. Both antidepressants and psychotherapy modify the abnormal cerebral blood flow/metabolism, however the pattern of brain functioning remission is distinct from observed in normal healthy volunteers. It may suggest the presence of traits which are responsible for the increase vulnerability for relapses of further episodes of depression in remitted patients. Results of brain imaging studies provide information encouraging to attempts of conceptualization of depression on the basis of modern neurobiology, neuropsychology and contemporary models of pathogenesis of mental illnesses.

Abstract

The application of functional brain imaging in psychiatry has opened new opportunities in investigations of pathogenesis of mental disorders. Ventral (amygdala/orbitofrontal cortices) and dorsal (hipocampal/cingulated) divisions of limbic system are responsible of regulation of emotions in humans. Several studies using functional brain imaging in depression found the decrease of metabolism in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and caudate nucleus and increases in amygdala, subgenual cingulate and orbitofrontal prefrontal cortex. Both antidepressants and psychotherapy modify the abnormal cerebral blood flow/metabolism, however the pattern of brain functioning remission is distinct from observed in normal healthy volunteers. It may suggest the presence of traits which are responsible for the increase vulnerability for relapses of further episodes of depression in remitted patients. Results of brain imaging studies provide information encouraging to attempts of conceptualization of depression on the basis of modern neurobiology, neuropsychology and contemporary models of pathogenesis of mental illnesses.
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Keywords

depression; functional neuroimaging; SPECT; PET; limbic system; prefrontal cortex

About this article
Title

Neuroanatomy of depression in the light of functional brain imaging

Journal

Psychiatria (Psychiatry)

Issue

Vol 1, No 2 (2004)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

73-79

Published online

2004-06-16

Bibliographic record

Psychiatria 2004;1(2):73-79.

Keywords

depression
functional neuroimaging
SPECT
PET
limbic system
prefrontal cortex

Authors

Jan Jaracz

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