Hi everyone, I found a study on depersonalization disorder from 2020. I thought it was great to see someone actually doing research on our condition this recently. The study was done in Switzerland. It doesn’t provide any answers for treatment, it was more about investigating the disorder with brain scans.
Depersonalization (DP) and derealization (DR) are symptoms of a disruption of perceptual integration leading to an altered quality of subjective experiences such as feelings of unreality and detachment from the self (DP) or the surroundings (DR). Both ...
Many brainscans done have some contractions and conflicts. Some of it is related to some studies done is around 20.years old. Brain scan technology should have improved greatly -and still do,- the last 10.years. It is not just the physical Tesla power a scanner can make but also the software and computers that process the information to a picture. So, at study with a 3.tesla scanner done in 2000 is not the same as one done in recently. 7.tesla scanners have also been developed. They are very expensive to get and to use. There are like 8 of them in Germany and likely similar in the UK and France. They are not approved to clinical use as they are 200-300% more powerful than a 3.teala scanner. The magnetism is very powerfull and the security much higher. So, when you use them there has to be a approval as it is a experiment from health authorities. You have a have a budget for the scannings that is 2-3.times higher than with a 3.tesla scanner. Very few studies have been done with 7.tesla scanners and those done is mostly in depression and schizophrenia. In depersonalization they can be very important. In a study done with a 3.tesla scanner in PTSD they found that a small structure in the brain that regulated the inner state of the nervous system called the "periaqueductal gray"
had shifted from a mobilized state to a immobilized state in people with the dissociative subtype of PTSD. This shift is also likely done in depersonalization. There will likely be networks to other structures in the brain from this response and there is likely networks to this structure in the prefrontal cortex to make this defensive shut-down and immobilization response. But, you need a much more powerful scanner like a 7.tesla to detect it.
In qEEG studies of brainwaves done in depersonalization and the gamma waves that is related to being awake and present is highly affected (reduced) and slow waves likely theta is very dominant -like in a trance.
Brainwaves are made in diffrent locations in the brain by cells that act like oscillations for different brainwaves. Brainwaves like theta is generated in the thalamus (the left thalamus is found reduced in DP), The thalamus is deep in the brain but have many connections to the cortex. These connections is called "Thalamocortical network" and is highly affected and abnormal in many conditions. The "thalamus-cortical loop" is affected in obsessive compulsive disorder and some studies in depersonalization find that there are some similarities between the two.
Brainwaves makes support and many brain networks and abnormal brainwaves will mean abnormal networks and the inability to make normal shift between them. Disorders affected abnormal brainwaves is called "thalamocortical dysrhtthmia". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalamocortical_dysrhythmia
Thalamus is a gateway for many sensory input to the brain. There is a gateway in the thalamus for visual input to the visual cortex called "lateral geniculate nucleus" that could likely be the origin for the visual and perception problems in depersonalization. It also gets input from the periaqueductal gray. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_geniculate_nucleus
There is a development is brain stimulation equipment to normalize brain waves and networks in the brain. There is target is refractory depression to start with but other psychiatric and neurological conditions is thought to also to be treatable with this concept. It works with 3.small coils placed over the cortex that with start to interact with the neurale oscillators deeper in the brain for different brain waves. The will start to get feed-backs that will force them towards normalization. You have to have at last a qEEG of the different patient and likely also some functional brain scan. These data are feed into a programme in the machine that will make a procedure for the individual for the location of coils to stimulated and likely also make some shifts to different locations. The 3.coils will be fast stimulations and will be in a helmet with motors so they can shift around the cortex and make feed-back to different neural oscillators in the brain. People likely have to have 5-10.sessions to feel something and more sessions to make in more stable.
With this approach you likely do not need to know much about depersonalization. You just start to readjust the neural oscillators in the brain. Much less theta and much more gamma waves in depersonalization. As far as I know they have not stated to test this yet. The hardware and software is likely still in development ( could be delayed due to covid lockdowns) but I think they will start testing on normal people to see if can be tolerated or there is need for readjustment or redesign. Then they will likely try major depression. Depersonalization could be tried after that.