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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 2, 2010

Traditionally, depression is suspected when symptoms that suggest impaired psychosocial functioning are present for more than two weeks. Symptoms of depression include an overwhelming feeling of sadness, difficulty to experience pleasure, sleep problems, and difficulties with engaging in everyday life.

This clinical presentation of depression guides physicians to make a diagnosis and to select antidepressant treatment such as drugs or psychotherapy.

Currently, at least 40 percent of depressed patients actually benefit from antidepressant treatment, whereas 20 to 30 percent of patients may suffer from chronic depression that negatively impacts their quality of life.

Emerging research addresses the neural bases of depression as well as how treatment can induce changes in the brain. Modern brain imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are often used to view brain modulations.

This line of research expands the commonly accepted premise that depression is associated with dysfunction of specific brain regions involved in cognitive control and emotional response.

In order to improve the efficiency of treatment and reduce the burden of depressive disorders, depression clearly needs to be defined at the neurobiological level.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/09/02/brain-imaging-shows-brain-changes-in-depression/17541.html

 



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