International Journal of Mental Health & PsychiatryISSN: 2471-4372

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Research Article, Int J Ment Health Psychiatry Vol: 2 Issue: 3

Systems Neuroscience in Children and Adolescent Depression

Tomoya Hirota1, Gordana Milavić2, Fiona McNicholas3,4,5, Thomas Frodl6,7 and Norbert Skokauskas6,8*
1Department of Psychiatry Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States
2National and Specialist Services, Michael Rutter Centre, Maudsley Hospital, London, United Kingdom
3Department of Psychiatry, University College Dublin, Ireland
4Lucena Clinic, Dublin, Ireland
5Department of Child Psychiatry, Our Lady's Children Hospital Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland
6Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
7Department of Psychiatry, Universität Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
8Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Child Protection, Department of Neuroscience, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
Corresponding author : Norbert Skokauskas, NTNU
Faculty of Medicine, RKBU,Pb 8905, MTFS, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway
Tel: +47-405-36-900
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: April 11, 2016 Accepted: June 20, 2016 Published: June 24, 2016
Citation: Hirota T, Milavic G, McNicholas F, Frodl T, Skokauskas N (2016) Systems Neuroscience in Children and Adolescent Depression. Int J Ment Health Psychiatry 2:3. doi:10.4172/2471-4372.1000126


Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders in children and adolescents often presenting as a severe, chronic and recurring condition with a high risk of self-harm and suicide. Normal brain development during adolescence is necessary to put into context when investigating biology of adolescent depression. There is an uneven timeline for development going from ‘bottom up’ with the subcortical limbic areas developing first, followed by the prefrontal cortical (PFC) areas, which does not reach full functional maturity until the mid-20s. Amygdala and striatum have been reported to be reduced in depressed youth compared to controls. Functional brain changes have been identified in adults but less consistently in adolescent depression.

Keywords: Depression; Children; Adolescent; MRI, Genetics; Systems neuroscience

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