Depression could change the brain, study finds

DEPRESSION may be changing the way the human brain operates, with people suffering "recurrent depression" having a "significantly smaller hippocampus" than healthy individuals, a new study has found.

The study of 9000 people was published in Molecular Psychiatry and involved University of Sydney researchers.

It found those with recurrent depression - about 65% of those diagnosed with "major depression" at an early age - often had a smaller hippocampus, the part of the brain that helps create new memories.

Study authors said it showed the need to treat episodes of depression as early as possible when they occurred, to prevent such changes.

However, they said the scientific understanding of what caused depression was still "rudimentary".


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