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The Effect Of Depression On Your Brain Structure And How To Cure It

Depression is an unfortunately common word nowadays. Not only because of the increasing amount of people affected, but for the enormous damage it causes to patients as well as their families. It is like fighting against an invisible evasive enemy that you can not address. And it strikes again and again. However there are ways to free patients of a life depending on antidepressant drugs. Dr. Mercola sheds a light on this matter, and it is really worth to read below…

By Dr. Mercola

That depression can take a toll on your physical health is pretty well-recognized. Recent research has also found that it can actually cause changes in your brain.

Specifically, recurring depressive episodes reduce the size of your hippocampus — an area of your brain involved in forming emotions and memory — stressing the importance of early intervention, especially among teenagers.

Your memory isn't only restricted to remembering dates and passwords; it also plays an important role in developing and maintaining your sense of self.

When your hippocampus shrinks, it's not just your rote memory that is affected, behaviors associated with your sense of self are also altered, and a smaller hippocampus equates to a general loss of emotional and behavioral function.

The good news is the damage is likely reversible, but to do that, you have to actually do something about your situation.

Chronic Depression Can Damage Your Brain

Using brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of nearly 8,930 people from around the world, an international team of researchers found that those who suffered recurring bouts of depression also had a smaller hippocampus.1,2,3

This applied to about 65 percent of all depressed participants.  Those who were experiencing their first depressive episode did not show evidence of shrinkage, suggesting it's the repetitive recurrence that causes the hippocampus to shrink.

Those who showed hippocampal shrinkage also reported getting depressed earlier than the others, typically before the age of 21.

Previous studies have noted that depressed people tend to have a smaller hippocampus, but it was not known whether this was a predisposing factor, or a result of the illness.

This study reveals the answer: Depression comes first; the brain damage follows…  According to co-author Professor Ian Hickie:4

“[The] more episodes of depression a person had, the greater the reduction in hippocampus size. So recurrent or persistent depression does more harm to the hippocampus the more you leave it untreated.

This largely settles the question of what comes first: the smaller hippocampus or the depression? The damage to the brain comes from recurrent illness…

Other studies have demonstrated reversibility, and the hippocampus is one of the unique areas of the brain that rapidly generates new connections between cells, and what are lost here are connections between cells rather than the cells themselves.

Treating depression effectively does not just mean medicines. If you are unemployed, for example, and then sit in a room doing nothing as a result, this can shrink the hippocampus. So social interventions are just as important, and treatments such as fish oils are also thought to be neuro-protective.”

In next page learn about the inflammatory roots of depression.

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1 Comment

  1. bind it-cast it off in Jesus name

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