The Neuroanatomy of, and Cognitive Deficits in, Depression: A Brief Overview

It is well established that major depression (MDD) is a disorder with a neurobiological basis that has a tremendous negative impact upon psychological and social functioning, as well as on overall quality of life. This highly disabling condition affects nearly 15 million American adults in a given year.

One of the principal goals in the study of MDD is to identify the brain areas that are involved in, and contribute to, the pathogenesis of symptoms in individuals who are affected by this extremely common neuropsychiatric disorder. Peter Oaks and colleagues recently published an article on this topic in Clinical Anatomy. In their review, they suggest that, “an improved knowledge of anatomical sites involved in patients with depression will help in future treatment modalities.”

Atrophy of numerous structures within the central nervous system has been observed in persons suffering from depression. For example, neuroscientists have found that the amygdala, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, striatum, nucleus accumbens, and the cerebellum are some of the many structures of the brain that are smaller in patients diagnosed with depression compared with those of typical, healthy individuals. It is important to mention that this is certainly not an exhaustive list…

Read the full article at http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/depressive-disorder/structural-and-functional-neuroanatomy-of-depression/article/520565/