Brain Imaging May Identify Depression in Very Young Children

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Functional magnetic brain imaging (fMRI) of preschool-age children appears to be useful in identifying early childhood depression, according to a study in the July Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Researchers…used fMRI to compare blood-flow activity in the amygdalae of 23 nonmedicated preschoolers with depression and 31 nondepressed peers. The children were shown pictures of peoples’ faces with happy, sad, fearful, and neutral expressions. The researchers say the findings could lead to ways to identify and treat depressed children earlier, potentially preventing problems later in life.

–Psychiatric News Alert

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