Neurological Aspects of Grief
Adriana C. Silva,
Natalia P. de Oliveira Ribeiro,
Alexandre R. de Mello Schier,
Antonio E. Nardi,
Tamires M. Pessoa.
Despite grief being a universal experience and the increased scientific attention paid to grief and bereavement
in recent years, studies that seek to better understand the role of the neurological aspects of grief are still scarce. We found
5 studies that discussed the relationship between the neurological aspects of grief due to the death of a loved one. All
studies showed an activation of common areas, i.e., the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC),
prefrontal cortex (PFC), insula and amygdala. These findings could indicate that there is a group of areas working
together and responding to generate the symptomatology of grief. Because grief is a universal experience, it is essential
that the necessary and effective support can be provided to those who experience the loss of someone considered
important in their lives, and this requires understanding grief’s manifestation, its differential diagnosis in reference to
other clinical conditions, mainly psychiatric ones, and adequate forms of intervention and treatment when necessary.
Proper understanding and support can help prevent the emergence of more serious health problems.
Keywords: Bereavement, cognitive, grief, mourning, neurology, thanatology.
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