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Findings on functional brain connectivity may help understand mental illnesses, says review

Posted on 09-22-2017 Posted in Mental Illness - 0 Comments

There is no dearth of psychological illnesses that millions of people all over the world are suffering from. The paucity of necessary information about potential ways of treating them has made things worse. However, researchers have been carrying out studies to examine and understand the functional nuances within the brain region resulting in erratic human behavior.

Now, a review titled “Resting-State Functional Connectivity in the Human Connectome Project: Current Status and Relevance to Understanding Psychopathology” has suggested how the use of advanced neuroimaging techniques can help in assessing circuit-level abnormalities in mental health problems. “These advances have provided the basis for recent efforts to develop a more complex understanding of the function of brain circuits in health and of their relationship to behavior ­ providing, in turn, a foundation for our understanding of how disruptions in such circuits contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders,” Dr. Deanna Barch, the author of the review, wrote in her article published in the journal Harvard Review of Psychiatry in September 2017.

Evaluating development of psychiatric diseases

Barch stressed on how the current exploration of the various functional associations within the brain can help in an increased understanding of origin and development of mental illnesses. She paid attention to a method identified as resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rsfcMRI) that helps assess how simultaneous variations in blood oxygen-level dependent signals are synchronized within the brain.

Previous studies have highlighted how simultaneous activity from brain networks are increasingly coordinated even when the body is at a state of rest. Experts say that even the resting state may result in the consumption of nearly one-fifth of the body’s total energy despite the brain being only 2 percent of the total body mass. Barch stressed how some brain networks discerned using rsfcMRI may help understand the functions and processes commonly damaged in those afflicted with mental illnesses.

Current researches are focusing on the brain networks responsible for affecting the association between cognitive functioning and “psychotic-like” experiences. Commenting on how current research findings can help solve the ambiguity concerning the development of mental diseases, Barch wrote, “The hope is that these analyses will shed new light on how behavior of many different forms is related to functional brain connectivity, ultimately providing a new window for understanding psychopathology.” Detailed and persistent research into the relationships between brain circuits and behavior might help in identifying new therapeutic targets and innovative ways of observing and identifying patients affected by psychiatric problems.

Resolving mental health issues

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, there were nearly 45 million people aged 18 years or older in the country – representing about 18 percent of the adult population ­ with any mental illness (AMI) within the previous year. However, the Mental Health America (MHA) reports that 56 percent of adults battling mental health problems do not receive any kind of professional help or treatment.

Sovereign Health is a leading provider of mental health care in the U.S. At Sovereign Health of Florida, psychotic disorder treatment for mental illness includes a holistic combination of medications and intense psychotherapies. In addition to traditional clinical therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group and family therapies, treatment at our state-of-the-art facilities also incorporates a vast range of experiential therapies such as yoga and meditation. For more information on our evidence-based psychosis treatment programs or to locate our mental health treatment centers near you, call our 24/7 helpline. You can even chat online with one of our representatives for further assistance.

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The dual diagnosis program was what attracted me to Sovereign Health. My therapist was always open for discussion and the group sessions were very informative and educational.

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