Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
Hyporeactivity is a term used to describe a person who has diminished responsiveness to his or her surroundings.
According to some German-Swiss researchers, many depressed individuals demonstrate hyporeactivity because they have a biological inability to care about their surroundings, so their reaction to it is muted.
Hyporeactivity can be easily detected by monitoring changes in a person's blood circulation, blood pressure, and the sweat gland activity in his or her fingers. Using these measures, scientists found a significant correlation between hyporeactivity and suicide in depressed individuals.
“The results are so strong that I’m astonished,” said researcher Lars-Hakan Thorell. “We can determine very accurately whether a person risks committing suicide, which can revolutionize suicide prevention.”
The study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, involved 783 inpatients diagnosed with depression. They were each tested for hyporeactivity, or the diminished ability to respond to a variety of stimuli.
There was no correlation found between hyporeactivity and the severity of depression. So, not everyone who is hyporeactive is suicidal – but almost every depressed suicidal individual is hyporeactive.
Researchers use a variety of stimuli to determine a person’s response to his or her surroundings. For instance, they might have a patient listen to a pattern of tones while monitoring the body’s reactions (blood pressure, sweat) using sensors placed on the patient's fingers.
When people hear a tone pattern for the first time, nearly everyone reacts to it automatically. This is called a general orientation reaction. However, when the tones are played again, those who are hyporeactive will have a diminished response. Scientists suggest this is caused by specific nerve cells within the individual’s hippocampus that have been damaged by long-term elevated stress and depression.
Whether this research translates into a popular tool for suicide prevention remains to be seen. Still, it is amazing how the body so accurately registers our state of mind via our sweat glands and circulatory system.
Source: Science Daily
The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.