Skip 
Navigation Link
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Resources
Basic Information
Introduction and Types of Depressive DisordersRelated Disorders / ConditionsHistorical and Current UnderstandingsBiology, Psychology and SociologyTreatment - Medication and PsychotherapyAlternative Medicine and Self-Help ResourcesSpecial IssuesReferences
More InformationTestsLatest News
Shock Therapy Safe, Effective for Tough-to-Treat DepressionDepression Plagues Many Coal Miners With Black Lung Disease1 in 4 People With Anxiety, Depression Couldn't Get Care During PandemicBody's 'Signals' May Feel Different in People With Anorexia, DepressionDads of 'Preemie' Babies Can Be Hit by DepressionCould Fish Oil Supplements Help Fight Depression?Treating Teachers' Depression Could Boost Young Students' Grades: Study'Laughing Gas' Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Treat Depression'Early Birds' May Have Extra Buffer Against DepressionTennis Star Naomi Osaka's 'Time Out' Highlights Common, Crippling Mental Health IssueMassive Gene Study Probes Origins of DepressionAHA News: Link Between Depression and Heart Disease Cuts Both WaysAHA News: Depression and Anxiety Linked to Lower Levels of Heart Health in Young AdultsDepression Even More Common With Heart Failure Than CancerNothing to Sniff at: Depression Common for People With COVID-Linked Smell LossPandemic Is Leading to More Depression for Pregnant Women Worldwide: Study'Non-Drug' Approaches Can Fight Depression in People With DementiaHalf of COVID Survivors Struggle With Depression: StudyDepression Often Follows Stroke, and Women Are at Higher RiskAs Lockdowns Cut Into Exercise Time, Depression Rates Are RisingCommon Antidepressants Won't Raise Risk for Bleeding Strokes: StudyFeeling SAD? Here Are Ways to Ease Winter BluesTreating Mom's Postpartum Depression Could Help Baby's Brain, TooDepression in Youth Ups Odds for Adult Illnesses: StudyToo Much Social Media Time Could Raise Risk of DepressionAHA News: Certain Antidepressants Might Increase Stroke Risk for Young Adults With PTSDCOVID Fuels Depression Among Pregnant Women, New Moms'Body Issues' Raise Depression Risks for TeensCoping With Lockdown Loneliness During the HolidaysAHA News: People With Depression Fare Worse in Heart Health StudyTwo Key Lifestyle Factors May Ward Off DepressionBirth Control Pill Won't Raise Depression RiskDepression Has Strong Ties to Stroke, Study FindsFor Some Women, Postpartum Depression Lingers for YearsSevere Morning Sickness Linked to Depression Before and After BirthDepressed Teens May Struggle in SchoolMore Are Turning to Pot When Depressed – But Does It Help or Harm?Depression Can Deepen Over Time for Alzheimer's CaregiversA U.S. Pandemic of Depression, Too? Rates Are Triple Pre-COVID LevelsSeniors With Depression Show Resilience in Face of PandemicBlood Pressure Meds Don't Raise Risk of DepressionDepression May Hinder Recovery From Narrowed ArteriesPreventive Intervention for Premature Infants Effective
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
Suicide

Body's 'Signals' May Feel Different in People With Anorexia, Depression

HealthDay News
by Robert Preidt
Updated: Jun 24th 2021

new article illustration

THURSDAY, June 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The brain interprets physical signals differently in people with depression, anorexia and some other mental health disorders, new research shows.

British scientists examined "interoception" -- the brain's ability to sense internal conditions in the body -- in 626 patients with mental health disorders and a control group of 610 people without mental illness.

"Interoception is something we are all doing constantly, although we might not be aware of it," said lead author Camilla Nord, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge's MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

"For example, most of us are able to interpret the signals of low blood sugar, such as tiredness or irritability, and know to eat something," she said in a university news release. "However, there are differences in how our brains interpret these signals."

Researchers wanted to learn whether something similar happens in the brains of people with different mental disorders.

Compared to the control group, they found that in patients with bipolar disorder, anxiety, major depression, anorexia and schizophrenia, a brain region known as the dorsal mid-insula had different activity when processing pain, hunger and other physical signals.

The researchers also found that this brain area does not overlap with ones affected by antidepressant drugs or psychological therapy. That suggests it may provide a new target to treat differences in interoception.

"It's surprising that in spite of the diversity of psychological symptoms, there appears to be a common factor in how physical signals are processed differently by the brain in mental health disorders," Nord said.

"It shows how intertwined physical and mental health are, but also the limitations of our diagnostic system -- some important factors in mental health might be 'transdiagnostic,' that is, found across many diagnoses," she added.

The findings were published June 22 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Nord plans more studies to test whether this disrupted brain activation can be altered by new treatments, such as brain stimulation.

More information

There's more on mental illness at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

SOURCE: University of Cambridge, news release, June 22, 2021