Scientists from MIT and Harvard have developed a new brain imaging study that can help detect children who have a greater risk of developing depression later in life.

In a report which appears in the journal Biological Psychiatry, Prof John Gabrieli, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT and the Grover M. Hermann Professor in Health Sciences and Technology, mentions that his team would like to develop technology that can help identify people at true risk, independent of why they got there. Their ultimate goal is to intervene early on in the pre-clinical stage of the condition and prevent depression from striking the person.

According to previous imaging studies, two brain regions – the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) and the amygdala – often show abnormal activity in patients with depression. However, it was not clear whether those differences were caused by the depression, or whether they were the reason for the depression.

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