It’s all in your head –
June 16, 2020 – Researchers of the national Turku PET Centre have shown that the opioid system in the brain is connected to mood changes associated with depression and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are typically associated with lowered mood and decreased experience of pleasure. Opioids regulate the feelings of pain and pleasure in the brain. The new study conducted in Turku shows that the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety are connected to changes in the brain’s opioid system already in healthy individuals.
– We found that the more depressive and anxious symptoms the subjects had, the less opioid receptors there were in their brain. These receptors function like small “docks” that are influenced by both the brains own opioids as well as opiates. These type of opioid-mediated mood changes can be an important mechanism in the central nervous system, says Professor Lauri Nummenmaa from the University of Turku.