Children of parents suffering from depression or have had a history of the same can have structural differences in their brains. Depression is a common and alarming mental health condition that often harasses people during adolescence. While the causes of depression are complex, having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors.
While studies have earlier pointed out that children of parents suffering from depression are prone to the mental condition compared to those with no parental history of depression, no reason or structural change was identified. Now a new study shows the part of the brain linked to experiencing pleasure, reward, motivation is smaller for children whose parents having depression that the ones without it reported IANS.
“Understanding differences in the brains of children with familial risk factors for depression may help to improve early identification of those at greatest risk for developing depression themselves, and lead to improved diagnosis and treatment," said study researcher David Pagliaccio in the study
"The findings highlight a potential risk factor that may lead to the development of depressive disorders during a peak period of onset, said study author Randy P. Auerbach, Associate Professor at Columbia University in the US.
For the study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the researchers analysed brain images from over 7,000 children in the United States participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive development (ABCD) study, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).