Brain News: The largest analysis of brain scans showed that patients with mood and anxiety disorders share the same abnormalities in brain areas associated with cognitive and emotional control.
For this study researchers analyzed around 10,000 brain scans from previous published studies that compared the brain activity of healthy adults to those diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders.
Researchers found that patients exhibited abnormally low activity in the inferior prefrontal and parietal cortex, the insula and the putamen–important parts of the brain circuit for emotional and cognitive control and are responsible for stopping ongoing mental activities and switching to new ones. They also observed hyperactivity in the anterior cingulate cortex, the left amygdala and the thalamus, the regions of the brain that play a key role in processing emotional thoughts and feelings.
The study results clearly explain why people with mood and anxiety disorders remain in negative mood states for a long time. The findings have important implications for developing new treatments targetting these brain regions affected due to mood and anxiety disorders.
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Janiri, D., Moser, D. A., Doucet, G. E., Luber, M. J., Rasgon, A., Lee, W. H., Murrough, J. W., Sani, G., Eickhoff, S. B., & Frangou, S. (2020). Shared neural phenotypes for mood and anxiety disorders. JAMA Psychiatry, 77(2), 172. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.3351