Related News

Home » World

Brain study could help with depression

PEOPLE who have a high family risk of developing depression had less brain matter on the right side of their brains on par with losses seen in Alzheimer's disease, United States researchers have found.

Brain scans showed a 28-percent thinning in the right cortex - the outer layer of the brain - in people who had a family history of depression compared with people who did not.

"The difference was so great that at first we almost didn't believe it. But we checked and re-checked all of our data, and we looked for all possible alternative explanations, and still the difference was there," said Dr Bradley Peterson of Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

His study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings are based on studies of 131 people aged six to 54 with and without a family history of depression.

The team was looking for abnormalities in the brain that could signal a predisposition to depression.

The thinning on the right side was only linked with a family predisposition to depression.

People who actually were depressed also had thinning on the left side of cortex.

Memory and attention tests found that the less brain material a person had in the right cortex, the worse they performed.

Peterson said the findings suggest medications used to treat attention problems might be useful in the treatment of depression.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend