Scientists from China and the UK have discovered links between depression and sleep problems this week, according to a study published this week in an American medical journal.
Their findings may pave the way for new treatments for depression and insomnia, researchers said Friday
"The relationship between depression and sleep has been observed for more than a century, but scientists and psychiatrists knew little until that study about how they were related, "said Feng Jianfeng, one of the study's lead researcher and professor of computational neuroscience at the University of Warwick in the UK
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9659005Thedata-drivenstudybyresearchersfromWarwickandFudanUniversityinShanghaipublishedin JAMA Psychiatry on Wednesday and included the analysis of data from approximately 10,000 humans in international brain image databases, including the US Hu  It built on the work at Fudan University in 2016 by a team under the Leitun postdoctoral fellow Cheng Wei.
The team found that part of the brain is called the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Prosecutors could make people more sensitive to negative emotions when they were overactive.
Then, Fudan and Warwick researchers this year captured brain image data from 1,017 humans from the US Human Connectome Project and compared the results to larger data set from UK Biobank
The results identified several Brain areas that are strongly associated with depression and poor sleep: the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is involved in short-term memory, the precuneus, which is responsible for the concept of self, and the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, which was identified in the earlier study.
Feng said these areas were at least part of the mechanism that led people to think about bad thoughts and impaired sleep quality  Sleep Disorders? Be in pain? Why walking barefoot on grass
Depression has become a major cause of disease and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people – 4 percent of the world's population – live according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The number of people with depression increased by more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015, according to the WHO.
"Almost everyone in the world has to deal with these two issues: depression and poor sleep quality, either as a patient or as a patient relative of a person," Feng said.
Cheng said that research has opened the possibility of new targeted treatments for people with poor sleep quality.
"Researchers at the University of Toronto have already used magnetically stimulation to treat patients with depression, based on our 2016 study," Cheng said.
The value of the study was also how it could help researchers better understand the problem of depression, Cheng said.
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"This study could also have implications for a deeper understanding of depression," said Edmund Rolls, neuroscientist in Warwick and other senior researchers in the study ,
"This important c Ross validation with participants from the US supports the theory that the lateral orbitofrontal cortex is a key-brain area that could be targeted in the search for treatments for depression."
Cheng said that Fudan University team plans to collaborate with hospitals in China on possible treatments for depression and poor sleep quality.