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Neural systems underlying affective disorders

  • Simon Surguladze, Paul Keedwell and Mary Phillips

Abstract

Three main approaches are used to explore the neural correlates of mood disorder: neuropsychological studies, neuroimaging studies and post-mortem investigations. Lesion studies implicate disturbances in the frontal lobe, basal ganglia, striatum and anterior temporal cortex. Early neurocognitive and neuropathological investigations led to a ‘hypofrontality’ hypothesis of unipolar and bipolar depression, but functional neuroimaging has revealed a more complex picture. Thus, increased metabolism may occur in the subgenual anterior cingulate gyrus in resting-state studies of depression and sad-mood induction. Antidepressants may reduce this activity. Amygdala hyperactivation also is associated with affective disorders. Task-related studies reveal abnormal biases in memory, the experience of pleasure and the perception of emotional facial expressions. There is still little clarity whether the abnormalities in brain activation represent state or trait characteristics of affective disorders.

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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
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Neural systems underlying affective disorders

  • Simon Surguladze, Paul Keedwell and Mary Phillips
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