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Depression alters brain structure

A new scientific report published by the University of Edinburgh shows reduced white matter integrity among people with major depressive disorders. Scans done as part of the study revealed that white matter (a mass of tracts that enable brain cells to electrically communicate with one another) is altered among people in the throes of deep depression. Being a critical component of the brain’s wiring any disruption in the white matter damages emotion processing and thinking skills.

The study involving 3000 people and diffusion tensor imaging, a cutting-edge technique to map the structure of white matter, uncovers the biology of depression and could lead to the development of better diagnosis and treatment.

Depression is the world’s leading cause of disability, affecting a large number of people around the world. Symptoms include low mood, exhaustion and feelings of emptiness.

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