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May 17th, 2016 Is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Celebrate this important day by watching this video from Free and Equal, a United Nations campaign for LGBT equality, and make a committment to help combat homophobia and transphobia wherever you may see it in your life.
Can Depression Cause the Brain to Shrink?
Meta-analyses are in essence studies of studies. Researchers compile numerous studies done on a particular topic and report findings that span multiple research studies. This lends the meta-analyss to being a more reliable source of information. One such topic researched across multiple medical and scientific fields was done on finding evidence of brain atrophy (shrinkage) caused by mood disorders such as depression or bi-polar.
Scientists have already found that mood changes can affect brain activity. They wanted to find out what affect this has on the brain over a longer period of time. What they found may surprise you. Studies of depressed rats initially revealed that long-term mood states, such as those associated with mood disorders (e.g. depression and bipolar) was associated with brain shrinkage in the hippocampus region of the brain. The hippocampus is a part of what scientists consider to be the primal part of our brain, it is a part of our brain shared by many animals (such as rats). A major role of the hippocampus is in the formation of and recall of memories. In addition, scientists were also able to study human brains and found that the frontal lobe (responsible for managing emotion, focusing on tasks, and other executive function) also atrophies.