Cause of Depression Identified
In a major scanning study, researchers have identified changes
in the brain’s structure that could be the result of depression. Alterations
were found in parts of white matter. It contains fibre tracts that enable brain
cells to communicate with one another by electrical signals. The results are published
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh used a cutting-edge technique known as diffusion tensor imaging to map the structure of white matter. Integrity of the white matter was found less in people who reported symptoms of depression. However, the same changes were not seen in people who were unaffected.
“There is an urgent need to provide treatment for
depression and an improved understanding of it mechanisms will give us a better
chance of developing new and more effective methods of treatment,” said Heather
Whalley of Edinburgh.