Structural differences in brains of children whose parents have depression: Study

A study conducted in the United States revealed that there are structural differences in the brains of those children whose parents have depression. The condition of depression typically arises during adolescence. While the causes of depression are complex, having a parent with depression, adds as one of the biggest known risk factors. Studies have consistently shown that adolescent children of parents with depression are two to three times more likely to develop such condition than those with no parental history of depression. The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. A team led by NIH analyzed brain images from over 7,000 children participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD). The study showed that about one-third of the children were in the high-risk group because they had a parent with depression. In the high-risk children, the right putamen- a brain structure linked to reward, motivation, and the experience of pleasure- was smaller than in children with no parental history of depression.