Depression and anxiety in children alters brain development, study finds

A recent study presented at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting, Neuroscience 2011, suggested that people who suffer from depression and anxiety as children can experience alterations in brain development and brain structure.

“Childhood anxiety and depression alter the way the amygdala connects to other regions of the brain,” the study abstract, by Shaozhen Qin, PhD, explains. “This finding may help explain how early life stress can lead to future emotional and behavioral issues.”

“If we can fully understand the roots of mental illness in brain circuitry and systems, we may be able to develop better treatment targets for the millions suffering from these diseases,” said Carol Tamminga of University of Texas Southwestern.

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