A new study has identified neuronal changes in the brain structure that accompany attention-enhancing training in people with severe anxiety. Findings in the journal Biological PsychologyHe shed light on the methods that underpin the effectiveness of treatment.
Studies show that the brain prioritizes dangerous information over safe information. But in the most anxious individuals, this perceived bias can be exaggerated and harmful. The authors of the new study wanted to better understand the changes in the structure of the brain, such as interventions that seek to systematically train attention from dangerous stimuli to neutral stimuli.
“Our lab was interested in understanding participatory focus behavior and neural mechanisms,” said study authors Josh Carlson and Lynn Fang. Cognitive x Effective Behavior and Integrated Neuroscience (CABIN) Laboratory University of North Michigan.
“We have turned our attention to stimulus information from both the adaptive (e.g., localizing and monitoring of environmental hazards) and the negative (e.g., overemphasized risk, anxiety disorder).”
In the new study, 61 right-hand women (ages 18 to 38) were randomly assigned to 6 weeks of focus discrimination or to complete controlled treatment using their smartphones.
“Improving attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is aimed at reducing distorted attention to intimidation, which in turn reduces the symptoms of anxiety,” the researchers said. Although the effectiveness of attention-enhancing interventions is mixed in the literature, our goal was to determine how the brain changes following attention-enhancing training and how these changes in the brain relate to symptom reduction after a focus improvement.
Previous research has shown that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is most effective in high-risk individuals. With this in mind, the researchers found that participants were more anxious and focused to some degree.
Using a magnetic resonance imaging study, the researchers looked at differences in brain structure and function between those who completed the treatment and those who did not. For those who have completed attention-seeking treatment, the amount of gray matter in the brain region is associated with anxiety and mood disorders. They also found an increase in functional interactions between the superior frontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex, as well as the insulin.
Significantly, the gray matter of the anterior cingulate cortex has increased and attention has been associated with reduced anxiety following treatment.
From our data, the three main ways (1) interventions to target psychopathic symptoms, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, seem to ‘re’ (or ‘change’) brain structure and function, and (2) these changes appear. Individuals who are typically associated with areas of emotional response and cognitive control and (3) individuals who have undergone significant changes in brain structure have a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms (i.e., brain structure changes are associated with effectiveness) for attention-enhancing intervention interventions), ”Carlson and Fang b. PsyPost said.
But the study, like all studies, includes some warnings. Participants in the study had a high level of behavioral anxiety, which predisposes them to generalized anxiety disorder. However, this anxiety disorder is different from diagnosing the disease. “Therefore, although our results suggest that changes in brain structure and function go hand in hand with the improvement of attention in individuals with high behavioral anxiety, it is not clear whether these findings are a sample of clinical anxiety in general,” the researchers said.
“In addition, attention-seeking intervention interventions did not reduce anxiety throughout the sample,” Carlson and Fang said. “This means that not everyone has benefited from the training. However, as noted above, our data show that people who have undergone significant changes in brain structure are more likely to have symptoms of anxiety. MRI-based biomarkers are currently using this database to estimate who would benefit most from pre-training focus.
It was a new study Funded. National Mental Health Academic Research Enrichment Award.
The study “Neuroplastic changes in the size and function of the prefrontal cortex gray matter following improvement in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder“Written by Joshua M. Carlson, Lin Fang, Ernst HW Koster, Jeremy A. Andrzejewski, Hayley Gilbertson, Katherine A.Elwell, and Taylor R.Zuidema