The Symbiotic Relationship Between Hippocampal Volume And Major Mood Disorders ( Mdd ) Like Depression

1169 WordsOct 27, 20145 Pages
Introduction There has been a myriad of research investigating the symbiotic relationship between hippocampal volume and major mood disorders (MDD) like depression. Despite being one of the most prevalent illnesses, the underlying pathogenesis and neurobiology of MDD remain unclear. It has been widely documented that patients with a MDD tend to have smaller hippocampal volumes (Sheline et al., 1996, Nordanskog et al., 2014). The hippocampus is known to be closely affiliated with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is required to produce glucocorticoids that are involved in stress mechanisms (Chen et al., 2010). Moreover, stressful life events are considered a critical risk factor in the development of depression (Zannas et al., 2013). This, coupled with findings which suggest that depressed patients have difficulty with hippocampal-dependent learning and memory tasks (Gould et al., 1998, Gould et al., 2007), accentuates the relationship between the hippocampus and MDD being mediated through stress. There are various hypotheses regarding what may cause hippocampal volume diminution as a consequence of stress. Major propositions involve hippocampal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (Becker and Wojtowicz, 2007), glial numbers, apoptosis (Czeh and Lucassen, 2007) and granule neuron numbers (Boldrini et al., 2013). Other mechanisms that may affect hippocampal volume like neuropil reduction, shifts in fluid balance between the ventricles and brain tissue and changes in

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