Can Early Signs Of Depression Be Detected In An Infant’s Brain?

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Normally, when we hear the word depression, we associate it with adults, right? Well, did you know that depression can affect a person right from birth?

It is surprising, indeed. Depression is a condition caused by a series of chemical changes in the brain that can bring about a number of negative symptoms that can affect the life of the person.

Depression is a form of mental ailment that has become more common among the masses in the last decade, due to various lifestyle changes.

Depression In Infants

Work pressure, stressful lives, relationship issues, health concerns, monetary problems, dysfunctional families, etc., can all be some of the most common causes that trigger depression in people.

However, in a few other cases, depression can be genetic, that is, passed on from the ancestors to the person.
If you have ever noticed a young child, who is constantly sad or low, without any apparent reason, then he/she could definitely be suffering from depression.

So, can the signs of depression in an infant be detected when the mother is still pregnant? Let us see, in this article.

Depression In Infants

Detecting Infantile Depression In The Womb

Now, as we know, pregnant women have to go through regular scans, so that the doctors can see how the foetus is growing inside the womb, whether it is healthy or not and also to detect any abnormalities in the early stages, so that preventive measures can be taken.

Birth defects like polio, Down's syndrome, cleft pallet syndrome, etc., are some of the diseases in the foetus that can be detected before birth.

However, depression is an ailment that shows no physical symptoms, so how does one detect this ailment?

Depression In Infants

Well, a recent research study, conducted by Professor Cynthia Rogers, assistant professor of child psychiatry, and her team, said that, certain abnormal brain patterns in the brains of fully developed foetuses, could show links to depression in infancy.

Prof. Rogers said that the brain connectivity between a region of the brain known as amygdala (the region which controls the emotions) and the other parts of the brain, showed them signs of depression and anxiety that were impending.

The professor also said that more studies have to be conducted on this concept, in order to come out with concrete conclusions.

Read more about: depression, infant, pregnancy, brain
Story first published: Friday, February 3, 2017, 18:03 [IST]
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