Stress in early life may up depression risk

Stress in early life may up depression risk

By / Health / Saturday, 11 May 2019 07:11

Facing adversities in early life may put people at the risk of developing negative thinking, which could lead to major depressive disorder, a study has found.

The findings, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, provide biological and psychological evidence to support work first proposed in the 1960s.Researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK used a rodent model of early life adversity to show that offspring are much more sensitive to negative biases in their cognition when treated with the stress hormone, corticosterone.

The findings support the idea that those at risk of developing mood disorders may have impairments in the way they learn about and use their memories about how rewarding an experience has been to then guide and motivate them to repeat the activity.

The researchers suggest that these neuropsychological effects might explain why early life adversity can make people more likely to develop depression.“This study supports a wider body of literature which suggests that depression may develop from an interesting yet complex interaction between biological and psychological processes,” said Emma Robinson, professor at University of Bristol.

“As we start to understand these better we hope that the knowledge we generate can be used to better guide current and future treatments,” Robinson said in a statement.“Our larger body of work suggests that the effectiveness of current antidepressant treatments might be linked to how much a person is able to re-engage with their environment and their level of social support,” she said.

“The findings also add further evidence to support the validity of this relatively new area of research into mood disorders, particularly studies using animals to understand the neurobiology of affective biases and how they contribute to normal and pathological behaviour,” she added.

People with depression have a negative view of the world which can be measured by looking at how they process information such as emotional faces and words. However, whether this causes the illness or are a consequence is not known.

Author

Hum Hindustani

Hum Hindustani

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