Scientists have measured brain activity in young people with and without depression, and found that the brains of depressed adolescents give a muted reaction to distressing images. Previous research with depressed adults does not show this effect, implying that brain development in adolescence may have specific vulnerabilities to unsettling information, and that perhaps the depressed adolescent brain avoids information which in the end could aggravate the depression. Antidepressant treatment was shown to restore this depressed brain activity to ‘healthy’ levels. The work is presented at the ECNP conference in Lisbon.
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