17 Dec, 2015

Early childhood depression alters brain development

Medical Xpress | December 16, 2015

The new study is published Dec. 16 in JAMA Psychiatry.

“What is noteworthy about these findings is that we are able to see how a life experience—such as an episode of depression—can change the brain’s anatomy,” said first author Joan L. Luby, MD, whose research established that children as young as 3 can experience depression. “Traditionally, we have thought about the brain as an organ that develops in a predetermined way, but our research is showing that actual experience—including negative moods, exposure to poverty, and a lack of parental support and nurturing—have a material impact on brain growth and development.”