Revealing the cognitive biology of depression

A new genre of depression known as cognitive biology was discovered by researchers at Stanford Medicine (first Trusted Source
Stanford Medicine-led study identifies a type of depression

Go to source). This type of depression, which affects 27% of depressed patients, is characterized by Cognitive dysfunction and less responsive to commonly prescribed antidepressants that target serotonin.

Cognitive tasks performed by these patients showed difficulties with planning, self-control, long-term concentration, and inhibition of inappropriate behavior. In addition, brain imaging showed decreased activity in specific regions responsible for these cognitive functions. Realizing the limitations of traditional mood-based definitions of depression, scientists are now exploring alternative treatments that target cognitive dysfunctions to alleviate symptoms and restore recovery. restore social and occupational abilities.

Cognitive biology revealed: A new type of depression

The study involved 1,008 adults with a previously unspecified major depressive disorder who were randomly assigned to one of three widely prescribed antidepressants: escitalopram, sertraline or venlafaxine-XR. Depressive symptoms were measured by surveys and cognitive tests conducted to assess verbal memory, working memory, decision-making speed, and long-term attention. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to scan participants’ brain activity during a cognitive task called “GoNoGo”. The results identified 27% of participants with cognitive delay, insomnia, impaired cognitive function, and decreased activity in certain frontal brain regions, determining the cognitive biological pattern.

Implications for treatment and personal care for depression

The study’s findings have important implications for the treatment of depression. Traditional methods of diagnosing and treating depression often rely on subjective observations and self-reported measures. However, the use of cognitive and visual tasks during treatment research is a novel approach that offers valuable insights. By identifying depression biotypes through behavioral and imaging measurements, medical professionals can tailor more effective treatments. The researchers suggest integrating surveys and imaging as diagnostic tools to guide personalized treatment decisions. Ongoing studies are exploring drugs such as guanfacine, which specifically target brain regions involved in cognitive biotypes, as well as alternative treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Paving the way for improved care for depression

Cognitive biotype research sheds light on the heterogeneity of depression and emphasizes the need for individualized care. Current trial and error methods often lead to prolonged suffering, loss of hope, and increased likelihood of suicide in people with depression. By expanding our understanding of depression biotypes and exploring diverse treatment options, researchers aim to revolutionize care for depression. Conducting further studies with participants displaying cognitive biotypes will allow comparisons between different drugs, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Ultimately, the goal is to provide more targeted and effective treatments, change the current treatment landscape, and give hope to people with depression.

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  1. Study led by Stanford Medicine identifies a subtype of depression – (

Source: Medindia


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