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Do depressive episodes damage the brain?


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Yes, they do. There's evidence that the constant stress of depression leads to damage in the hippocampus. Specifically, memory is damaged. The theory is that AD's work by increasing BDNF. There's also evidence, although not as strong, that constant stress damages the prefontal cortex.

Edited by sam78
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It damages the hippocampus, and people with depression have differences in brain structure. Here's an article from pubmed.com (which is a very good resource). Also deechme's article talks about it.

 

Mania damages the parietal lobes, and the pre-frontal cortex, and this looks like more of a descriptive article, but also from pubmed (NIH).

 

Even bipolar people who are euthymic show noticeable differences in brain function.

 

I have no executive function, pretty much. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25553397

 

This is whipping through pubmed, I'm not doing a very detailed search right now.

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