Knowledge and Resource Hub
14 October 2019

Brain scans could help personalize treatment for people who are depressed or suicidal

This paper discussed research investigating the types of depression. The research found evidence for at least six subtypes of depression, which were each generated by abnormal activity in a distinct set of brain circuits that regulate mood and cognition. One subtype affects a constellation of brain regions that generates aimless mental chatter when the brain is "in idle" and can lead to unrelenting negative thoughts. Another type dampens reward networks, robbing a person of the ability to feel pleasure, (anhedonia). These two subtypes, along with a third called cognitive control often respond poorly to depression treatments. The highest risk groups are those in the anhedonia and cognitive control groups, which both have an elevated suicide risk.