As many as 265 million people globally suffer from depression globally each year. The statistics are worrisome. However, a new finding promises shining light at the end of tunnel.
Adavanced MRI techniques are able to detect areas of brains suffering from depression. These new scans can detect distinct brain conditions during the illness. This will be highly useful for scientists who are trying to find a cure to the widespread illness.
The new research will be published at the 105th annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. The meeting will take place in Chicago. The key differences it points to relate to brain-blood barrier (BBB), and other differences in the network of connections. The new MRI technique understands and detects the level of water permeability across BBB.
A Much-Needed Hope for the Illness
These discoveries are important for the larger community. Part of the reason why mental conditions like depression have taken a backseat to physical chronic diseases is also because the feasibility of a possible cure. While various physical ailments promise a certain cure, many mental conditions suffer in the backseat. This is surprising as depression causes several deaths globally each year. Furthermore, the illness remains in the dark as a perceived non-threatening condition around the world.
Depression apart from suicides can also result in lack of interest in daily activities, fatigue, feeling of hopelessness, among others. Severe types of depression including MDD continue to take thousands of lives each year and leave a burden of substantial loss for families.
Kenneth T. Wengler, Ph.D., a researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, in New York, was the first author of the study that examined links between MDD and changes to the BBB. Moreover, according to him, there is a major chance of a relapse or recurrence.