Depression and the Brain
In the below paragraphs you will learn about depression and the brain. I will go into great detail about the parts of the brain that are involved, the methods in which we study depression, and the neurotransmitters also linked to depression. I hope you will enjoy reading and learning more about depression and the brain. There are four areas of the brain said to be affected by depression which are: Amygdala, Thalamus, Hippocampus, and Cerebral Cortex. The amygdala is associated with the emotions we face such as, anger, fear, sorrow, happiness, and pleasure. “Activity in the amygdala is higher when a person is sad or clinically depressed. This increased activity continues even after recovery from depression.” (Harvard Medical Publications, 2000-2012) The thalamus is associated with the sensory part of the brain. The thalamus relays most of the sensory information to the cerebral cortex. This mainly affects behavioral reactions, speech, movement, and learning. The cerebral cortex is also associated with the sensory part of the brain. If you understood about the thalamus, it is what relays the information to the cerebral cortex. Thus, both involve the sensory parts of the brain. The hippocampus is associated with the limbic system. It plays the central role in processing long-term memory and recollection. The hippocampus and the amygdala are believed to work hand in hand. Meaning, it’s part of the brain that registers fear when confronted with barking from an aggressive dog. The memory of such an experience may make you wary of any dog you may come in contact later on in life. “The hippocampus is smaller in some depressed people and research suggests that ongoing exposure to stress hormone impairs the growth of nerve cells in this part of the brain.” (Harvard Medical Publications, 2000-2012, web)
There are three, which I know of, types of brain imaging use which include: positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed...
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