Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Studying brain activity could aid diagnosis of social phobia

29.11.2005


People suffering generalised social phobia experience increased brain activity when confronted with threatening faces or frightening social situations, new research shows.



The finding could help identify how severe a person’s generalised social phobia is and measure the effectiveness of pharmacological and psychological treatments for the condition.

Up to one million Australians suffer from social phobia at any one time, making it the most common anxiety disorder, and the third most common psychiatric disorder after depression and alcohol dependence.


People with generalised social phobia experience heightened anxiety during potential or perceived threatening social situations. They generally avoid eye contact and fear any interpersonal situation.

The research, to be published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, was conducted by an international team of researchers, including Associate Professor Pradeep Nathan from Monash University’s Centre for Brain and Behaviour and the Department of Physiology.

The researchers found that the area of the brain called the amygdala becomes increasingly hyperactive when patients look at threatening, angry, disgusted or fearful faces. Further, they found that the increased response in the amygdala correlated with the patients’ level of social phobia symptoms.

The amygdala is in the limbic part of the brain, which controls emotions and sends messages to the parts of the brain controlling breathing and heart rate.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers compared brain activity when people with generalized social phobia looked at threatening faces compared to happy or neutral faces.

Dr Nathan said the study showed that functional magnetic resonance imaging could be used to monitor activity in the amygdala and therefore predict the level of clinical symptoms in generalised social phobia patients.

"Our findings suggest that amygdala activation to interpersonal threat can be specifically linked to the severity of social anxiety symptoms of individual patients with generalised social phobia," he said. Thus, it may serve not only as a useful functional marker of disease severity, but also as a marker of the effectiveness of pharmacological and psychological treatments."

The study was done by Dr Nathan in conjunction with lead author Dr Luan Phan and Dr Daniel Fitzgerald from the University of Chicago and Dr Manuel Tancer from Wayne State University.

Dr Nathan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.researchaustralia.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>