Washington: A new study has found neurobiological evidence for dysfunction in the neural circuitry underlying emotion regulation in people with insomnia.The finding may have implications for the risk relationship between insomnia and depression."Insomnia has been consistently identified as a risk factor for depression," said lead author Peter Franzen, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "Alterations in the brain circuitry underlying emotion regulation may be involved in the pathway for depression, and these results suggest a mechanistic role for sleep disturbance in the development of psychiatric disorders," he noted.The study involved 14 individuals with chronic primary insomnia without other primary psychiatric disorders, as well as 30 good sleepers who served as a control group. Participants underwent an fMRI scan during an emotion regulation task in which they were shown negative or neutral pictures. They were asked to passively view the images or to decrease their emotional responses using cognitive reappraisal, a voluntary emotion regulation strategy in which you interpret the meaning depicted in the picture in order to feel less negative.
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