`Less connectivity among brain regions leads to anxiety problems`
Last Updated: Thursday, December 31, 2009, 00:00
  

Washington: In a discovery that would help
understand the nervous system of psychiatric patients,
researchers have found "scrambled connections" between the
brain cells which process fear and emotion and other regions
of the brain lead to anxiety disorders.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of
Medicine found that connectivity between amygdala, a pair of
almond-sized bundles of nerve fibers in the middle of the
brain, and its other regions could be the hallmark of common
anxiety problems like Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).



"The findings could help researchers identify biological
differences between types of anxiety disorders as well as
depression," lead author Amit Etkin said.



During the study, published in the Archives of General
Psychiatry, the team has examined the brains of people with
GAD, a psychiatric condition in which patients spend their
days in a haze of worry over everyday concerns.

They found that in healthy participants, subregions of
amygdala were linked to other parts of the brain which were
associated with visual and auditory processing, as well as
with memory and high-level emotional and cognitive functions.



However, in people with psychiatric disorders, both
amygdala regions had less connectivity to the region of the
brain responsible for determining the importance of stimuli.



This means that people with the disorder have a harder
time discerning truly worrisome situations from mild
annoyances, Science Daily reported.



PTI


First Published: Thursday, December 31, 2009, 00:00



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