On average, people with a family history of depression appear to have brains that are 28% thinner in the right cortex -- the outermost layer of the brain -- than those with no known family history of the disease. That cortical thinning, said the researchers, is on a scale similar to that seen in patients with Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia.Read the whole piece here.
"These are really impressive anatomical differences," said Dr. Bradley Peterson, the lead author of the study. The greater the anatomical differences seen in patients, on average, the more severe were their symptoms of intellectual impairment, he said. But thinning on the right side was associated with cognitive problems only; when thinning began to occur on the left side of the cortex, the hallmark symptoms of depression or anxiety became evident as well.
Friday, March 27, 2009
(Apparently today is the day that Colleen became totally obsessed with science.) A fascinating article in the Los Angeles Times talks about the suspected link between the thinning of the brain cortex and hereditary depression: