ISLAMABAD-The researchers used brain imaging to explore other brain regions affected by sgACC over-activity during threat. Over-activation of sgACC increased activity within the amygdala and hypothalamus, two key parts of the brain’s stress network. By contrast, it reduced activity in parts of the lateral prefrontal cortex — a region important in regulating emotional responses and shown to be underactive in depression. “The brain regions we identified as being affected during threat processing differed from those affected during reward processing,” said Professor Angela Roberts in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, who led the study. Over-activity in a single brain region called the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) underlies several key symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders, but an antidepressant only successfully treats some of the symptoms. A new study, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that sgACC is a crucial region in depression and anxiety, and targeted treatment based on a patient’s symptoms could lead to better outcomes. Depression is a debilitating disorder affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide, but people experience it differently. Some mainly have symptoms of elevated negative emotion like guilt and anxiety; some have a loss of ability to experience pleasure (called anhedonia); and others a mix of the two.