A new study on the effects of depression brings new meaning to the phrase, "It's all in your head."
Read the full transcript »
News Canada; Information for Life. Sherri Dmyterko: A new study on the effects of depression brings new meaning to the phrase it's all in your head. Doctor Glenda MacQueen is an associate professor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at McMaster Universty in Hamilton, Ontario and her research finds that when depression is left untreated a part of the brain actually shrinks. Glenda MacQueen: We used MRI to study the brains of people with depression. We focussed on a key region called the hippocampus and found that the hippocampus was smaller in people who had recurrent depression. The hippocampus wasn't smaller in people who had only one episode of depression. We think this is interesting because the hippocampus is a key region important for memory specially recall memory. Sherri Dmyterko: It's believed that the hippocampal region of the brain may play a role in major depressive illness. Glenda MacQueen: The hippocampus is a very stress sensitive region of the brain and we think that the cells of the hippocampus maybe altered by stress that is intense or highly recurrent. Sherri Dmyterko: It's estimated that 8% of Canadians will experience the major depression at some points in their life. If you think your experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, it's important to see your doctor as soon as possible. Glenda MacQueen: The remains of stigma attach to depression and other mental illnesses, for me this research emphasizes depression is a medical or biological illnesses like many others that we treat and I hope it communicates to other people that depression is not a personal weakness or a failure, it's a medical illness for which is there is effective treatment and I hope it encourages people to seek treatment if they are experiencing the symptoms of illness. Sherri Dmyterko: For more information about depression and treatment options check out the website mypeaceofmind.ca; Sherri Dmyterko reporting. News Canada; Information for Life.