Major Depression is a leading cause of morbidity, loss of disability adjusted life years contributing significantly to health and economic burden in our society. Identifying the cause of Major Depression is still elusive and essential to develop more effective treatments. Modern Neuroscience provides unseen opportunities to better understand the structure and function of the brain in pathological conditions such as in Major Depression.
This presentation will focus on neuroimaging techniques such as MRI and fMRI in studying the molecular underpinnings of Major Depression. Brain networks and specific cell clusters in the hippocampus and the amygdala are key structures altered in the brain of individuals with Major Depression. An important pillar of clinical practice in Psychiatry is the prediction of treatment response following antidepressant treatments or electroconvulsive therapy. In research settings, neuroimaging techniques show promise to be used as tools alongside with molecular techniques to identify individuals likely to be responding or failing to respond to treatments prior to their commencement. This presentation will highlight the most recent research in these areas showcasing the use of neuroimaging techniques in enhancing the understanding of the causes and clinical diagnostic utility of these techniques in important psychiatric conditions such as Major Depression.