According to a large international study, that compared brain volumes between people with major depression and healthy people, found that people with major depression have a smaller hippocampus. Major depression is a serious problem. It affects 1 out 6 people. This condition can happen at any point in life. People with major depression feel sadness and frustration. All of this means that they have problem with everyday activities. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is associated with making new memories.
According to the ENIGMA researchers, which includes a group from BMRI (Brain and Mind Research Institute) from Sidney, depression should be treated as soon as possible. Even more important is the treatment for young people.
The recent study included MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain scans of 9.000 people. The data were collected from people from Europe, the USA and Australia. Researchers analyzed all data. 7.199 people from the study were healthy individuals. 1.728 were people with major depression.
The study confirmed that people with smaller hippocampus have a higher risk of developing depression. However, the second finding is that a smaller hippocampus is linked with people with recurrent depression. 65% people with this problem represent participants with major depression. Recurrent depression is a type of major depression, when depression episodes come regularly.
Researchers also found that people who started suffering from major depression before age 21 also have small hippocampus. In addition, many of those people experience recurrent depression. On the other side, 34% of participants who didn’t experienced more depression episodes did not have a small hippocampus. Researchers said that these findings are very important and they can help many people who suffer from depression.