August 30
Siberian scientists examine the propensity of people to depression and anxiety
Specialists from the differential psychophysiology laboratory of Physiology and Fundamental Medicine (FFM SRI) and the laboratory of biological markers of human social behavior NSU conducted a study aimed at identifying the correlates of depressive symptoms and anxiety. The research results obtained by direct comparison of the same persons in the same experimental situation shown that correlates of the brain cortical activity for depression and anxiety are, in fact, the opposite.
The results of the work of scientists from the Novosibirsk State University and the Research Institute of the FFM are presented in the article "Anxiety, depression, and oscillatory dynamics in a social interaction model", which was published in "Brain research" magazine.
According to the head of the laboratory of biological markers of a human social behavior of NSU Alexander Savostyanov, the study was conducted in order to find the correlates of depressive symptoms and anxiety, reflecting the tendency of people to the development of these diseases:
- Depression - is one of the common diseases in the world. According to the World Health Organization, about 350 million people of all ages suffer from it.
One of the challenges that face a team of researchers from the Institute of FFM and NSU - is a development of methods for early diagnosis of depression, the second one - is monitoring the effectiveness of antidepressant therapy. We explore both depression and anxiety disorder. It is believed that they are related. However, anxiety disorder and personal anxiety - are not the same thing.
Personal anxiety is human tendency to evaluate the world as potentially dangerous, containing threats place. Alexander Savostianov emphasizes that this trait - is a risk factor for disease development, but not necessarily pathological. It means that personal anxiety may be an indication of the presence of anxiety disorder, but not all people with this characteristic vulnerable to mental illness.
The article examines two diseases - major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). As the Head of the Laboratory of Physiology differential psychophysiology and Fundamental Medicine, Gennady Knyazev says, that in psychiatry opposing views on how to relate to depression and anxiety existed a long time ago.
These diseases often go together. Up to 95% of people with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Genetic studies have shown that the predisposition to depression and anxiety is largely related to the same genes. There were even suggestions to combine these two pathologies in the same category in the Classification of Diseases. Scientists who have an opposite point of view, indicate that the disorders differ from each other on a number of parameters.
- Most of the studies in this area were performed on patients with depression, which may further contribute the distortion to the results. Firstly, the status of the patient has a considerable influence on the psychological state of a person, no matter what it is a disease. Secondly, patients are usually getting some therapy at the clinic, - said Gennady Knyazev.
Scientists from the Institute of FFM and NSU decided to conduct a study on healthy people who have never asked for help from psychotherapists and psychiatrists. To participate in the experiment, the scientists have selected 44 people (average age - 22 years). The severity of depressive symptoms and personal anxiety were detected by questionnaires. The experiment was conducted in the format of games for social interaction - people's perception of facial incentives.
Subjects were demonstrated several dozen photos of people expressing three types of emotions - negative, neutral, positive. After that, they had to decide how to interact with the image of a man (to attack, to ignore or to be friends). At the same time brain EEG was done to the subjects.
- Identified correlates of cortical activity were, in fact, opposite to depression and anxiety. It can mean that anxiety is associated with hyperreactivity of attention control, and depression - with reduced reactivity cognitive brain systems - says Gennady Knyazev.
Alexander Savostianov notes that the group, which is prone to depression, is not homogenous within themselves - behavioral responses of these subjects differed from each other in the following way: one ignored other people's emotions, showing avoidance of social interaction, others began to react negatively to neutral stimuli more strongly responded to negative incentives.
The results of this study confirm the previously obtained data, but the novelty of the study lies in the fact that it was carried out by direct comparison to the same people in the same experimental situation of social intercourse and at the preclinical stage.