Pediatric Obesity, Depression Connected in the Brain
[Source: Science Daily]
These findings, by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, which will be published online April 23 in Hormones and Behavior, are based on brain MRI scans of children and teenagers ages 9-17 who struggled with depressive symptoms and maintaining a healthy weight. The study is the first to document how concurrent obesity and depression are reflected in the brain in this age group.
Young people who had both conditions had low volumes in two of the brain’s reward-processing areas, the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex. The participants’ brain abnormalities also were linked to their level of insulin resistance, itself a precursor to diabetes.
“We want to help children and families understand that these conditions are brain-based phenomena,” said the study’s lead author, Manpreet Singh, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
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