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Depression changes the way children brain functions

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Depression changes the way Children Brain functions

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have found brain changes in preschool age children with depression that are not apparent in their nondepressed peers. The study published in the July issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, examined 23 children 4 to 6 years old who had been diagnosed with depression and 31 of their healhy peers. Researchers used well-validated tests to diagnose depression, and eliminated from the study children with neurological disorders, autism or developmental disorders, or who had been born prematurely. None of the subjects was taking anti-depressants. The children underwent MRI scans, while viewing pictures of happy, sad, fearful or neutral faces. The researchers found that right amygdala and right thalamus activity was significantly greater in the depressed children than in the others, a finding that has also been observed in depressed adolescents and adults. As reported in IE on July14, 2013.