There are a lot of cognitive behavior disorders (CBDs) around the world.
Some people have them all the time, and others have a specific, specific subset of them.
But there’s one common thread: They’re all linked to a loss of the ability to regulate emotions.
It’s called “negative emotion regulation,” or NDE.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that around 20% of people who experience NDEs have a history of depression or anxiety.
In general, they tend to be more severe and more disabling than other forms of anxiety or depression.
In a new study published in the journal Brain and Behavior, researchers from the University of Toronto and the University College London looked at NDE sufferers in order to figure out how their brains might have developed.
The study is a meta-analysis of data from previous studies.
The authors found that there’s a significant correlation between the severity of a NDE and a loss in emotional regulation, or the ability for the brain to accurately process emotion.
It could explain why a subset of people have an intense and prolonged experience with a specific form of depression, and may be more prone to developing other symptoms of that condition.
The authors say that this is the first evidence that NDE experiences are linked to brain dysfunction and emotional loss, and that they might be a contributing factor to many NDE cases.
“This is a potentially important area to study, and it’s also the first to address the question of how the brain develops the capacity to regulate emotion,” Dr. Daniel Gross, a professor of psychiatry at the University at Buffalo, told Business Insider.
“I think it’s a really exciting area to be looking at.”
The authors found evidence that the brains of NDE patients had abnormalities that are associated with emotional regulation impairment.
For example, when they asked the patients to describe their emotional state, their brains had abnormal connections to the left and right frontal lobes, as well as abnormal connections between the frontal loberes and the temporal lobe.
They also found that these abnormalities are common in people with NDE, and also in people who have suffered from major depressive disorder.
“What we’ve found is that there are regions of the brain that are more active in response to negative emotion than in response that we would normally associate with a normal state,” Dr Gross said.
“In some ways it seems like the prefrontal cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex are very much in tune with the negative emotions that we’re experiencing.”
The researchers also found evidence of a reduction in activity in parts of the hippocampus, a part of the human brain that processes emotions.
“We’ve also found reduced activation in the amygdala, which is also associated with emotion regulation, and increased activation in areas of the parahippocampal gyrus, which we think is associated with the retrieval of memories,” Dr Tania Toth, a researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told ABC News.
“The hippocampus is the seat of the emotional brain.
And it’s very likely that these changes in activity are being translated into changes in the hippocampus,” she said.
Toth and her colleagues are now looking at whether the changes in brain activity in the brain could be linked to the severity and duration of the NDE experience.
She hopes to learn more about how NDE symptoms may change over time.
“It could be that the NCD patients’ neural circuits have been altered and that the memory of the negative emotion they experienced has been encoded in the neural circuitry, and then these neural circuits are being modified and they become less responsive to emotional stimuli,” she told Business Ink.
“This could explain, for example, why some people have a prolonged NDE but then have other symptoms.”
The study also showed that the more severe the NDD, the more neural connections were lost, but there was no significant change in connectivity between the right and left prefrontal lobes.
It also showed no evidence of changes in functional connectivity between frontal and temporal cortices, which are key areas of emotional processing.
“We found no evidence that there were differences in the number of activated regions, between the patients who experienced more severe NDE events, or between the group who experienced less severe NDDs,” Dr Thomas Toth told Business and Psychology Today.
“These findings indicate that the neural processes associated with NCD are not affected by the severity or duration of NDD.”
These findings are particularly important because there is no single test that reliably measures NDE severity or its relation to other symptoms, such as anxiety or insomnia, or other conditions, such a major depressive episode, or schizophrenia, that are linked with altered neural functioning in brain regions important for emotion regulation.
“The ability to appropriately regulate emotions has been implicated in the development of anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.”
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