A new study published in Scientific Reports has revealed that the white matter, which enables brain to communicate, is reduced in people who suffer from the blues. Depression could lead to changes in brain's structure.
The study was conducted on over 3000 people by scientists at the University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow. The university used a cutting edge technique known as diffusion tensor imaging to the map the structure of the white matter.
During the study several alterations were found in the parts of brain known as white matter which contains fiber tracts that enabled brain cells to communicate with one another by electrical signals.
The white matter plays a vital role in the brain's wiring and its disruption is now linked with problems with emotion processing and thinking skills. The results showed that the quality of white matter deteriorated in people who reported symptoms of depression.
Participants were drawn from UK Biobank, a national research resource with health data available from 500,000 volunteers.
The study forms part of a Wellcome Trust initiative called Stratifying Resilience and Depression Longitudinally (STRADL), which aims to classify subtypes of depression and identify risk factors.