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Psychol Med. 2004 Aug;34(6):1059-64.

Enlarged amygdala volume and reduced hippocampal volume in young women with major depression.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidence is increasing that amygdala and hippocampus show significant structural abnormalities in affective disorders. Two previous studies found enlarged amygdala size in subjects with recent-onset major depression.

METHOD:

Amygdala and hippocampal volumes were assessed in 17 young women with major depressive disorder and 17 healthy matched control subjects by use of three-dimensional structural magnetic resonance imaging. The severity of depressive symptoms was assessed using the Hamilton Depression Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory.

RESULTS:

Compared with control subjects, depressive subjects had significantly larger (+13 %) amygdala volumes and significantly smaller (-12%) hippocampal volumes. Amygdala and hippocampal volumes were not significantly correlated with disorder-related variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results are consistent with previous findings of structural abnormalities of amygdala and hippocampus in subjects with recent-onset major depression. It may be suggested that the size of the amygdala is enlarged in the first years of the disorder, and may decrease with prolonged disorder duration.

PMID:
15554576
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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