Affiliation: Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
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.