Neuroscience & Research
DYSCONNECTIVITY IN CASE OF DEPRESSION
At the Christian-Doppler-Clinic in Salzburg, Austria (University Clinic of the Paracelsus Medical University), and as part of an EEG study, we are searching for answers to the following questions:
- How do the brain regions linked with depression behave under certain stimulation conditions?
- What specific frequency patterns do these brain regions exhibit?
- How and to what extent does the respective dysconnectivity between the brain regions in case of depression become visible (increased and/ or reduced connection strengths)?
- In case of depression, can we also observe so-called “hyper-synchronized” networks? (such as the ones that could be proven by Prof. Peter Tass in case of different disturbances such as, e.g., Morbus Parkinson and Tinnitus.)
- Is it possible to represent post-therapeutic changes in the above-mentioned measured values?
- How can the individual connectivity patterns of depressive persons be „modulated“?
Depression is one of the most frequent psychiatric diseases. Different models therefore attempt to map and explain its causes. A very prominent thesis among these approaches is the monoamine deficit hypothesis, which states that depressive patients have a lowered level of serotonergic and catecholaminergic neurotransmitters. Another hypothesis understands that pathologic neuronal connectivity and, therefore, the way in which the different brain regions connect (functional coupling) plays an important role in the development of depressive symptoms. On this second hypothesis, we, in our research group at the Institute for Synergetics and Psychotherapy Research (directed by Prof. Schiepek) are presently continuing to work. Our respective team consists of Prof. Dr. Günter Schiepek (Research director, in the picture on the left), Dr. Wolfgang Aichhorn (Clinical leader), Dr. Damir del Monte (Research manager), Dr. Hans Menning (Analyst), Benjamin Aas (Analyst) as well as of Prof. Dr. Anna Buchheim as cooperation partner for aspects of attachment research.