Understanding the impact of traumatic events on depression

February 5, 2018
Researchers Adriana Galván, left, and Sarah Tashjian studied activity in two key regions of the brain’s reward system: the nucleus accumbens and the medial prefrontal cortex.
Reed Hutchinson/UCLA

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, certain individuals that were disturbed by the election have suffered from symptoms of depression, while others that were equally disturbed by the election result have not experienced symptoms of depression. Senior Author Adriana Galván, UCLA associate professor of psychology, and her colleagues conducted a study of 60 people in Los Angeles to understand this difference in depression symptoms. Many of the concerns expressed by the affected participants in this study resemble aspects of trauma, such as fear and helplessness. Results of the study showed that individuals were protected from symptoms of depression by either heightened activity in the brain’s reward system or a high level of family support. Understanding resiliency and risk factors are important for determining who may be at risk for depression and how to promote resilience.

Source: How brain’s reward system lessened distress over 2016 election results UCLA Newsroom, 05 Feb 2018

Additional coverage:

Imagine that? Brain may have blocked depression from 2016 election Health Imaging, 08 Feb 2018

How your brain may have shielded you from depression after the 2016 election if you didn’t like the result Orland Sentinel, 08 Feb 2018

UCLA researchers study effects of traumatic events on depression Daily Bruin, 07 Feb 2018

How your brain may have shielded you from depression after the 2016 election if you didn’t like the result Los Angeles Times, 08 Feb 2018

How brain’s reward system lessened distress over 2016 election results Science Codex, 05 Feb 2018

How brain’s reward system lessened distress over 2016 election results Medical Xpress, 05 Feb 2018