Inherited depression associated with brain structure abnormalities

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Here is an interesting piece that lends new perspective to previous studies that have associated the limbic system with inherited depression risk. According to findings from a study recently published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences inherited depression risk is evident through brain structure abnormalities. Hereditary markers for depression may be denoted by a thinning of a region of the brain that processes social and emotional stimulus. Specifically, the researchers found a 28% decrease in thickness of gray matter in the right cerebral hemisphere compared to normal brains. According to Bradley Peterson, M.D. of the Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute, and colleagues, the result was “remarkable for its magnitude and spatial extent” outdoing bio-structural irregularities of major neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. The researchers commented stating, “These findings strongly suggest that the predisposition to familial depression derives from disturbances of cortical gray matter in the right cerebral hemisphere.” Click here to read more about this discovery from Reuters, UK.

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