Causes of Depression

Do Brain Images Offer Clues to the Causes of Depression?

Imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, show that the brains of people with depression look different from those of people without the illness. The scans show that in people with depression, the areas of the brain that control moods, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior are not functioning properly. The scans also reveal imbalances in important brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, which allow brain cells to communicate with each other. But these images do not yet reveal why the depression has occurred.
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