Hippocampal atrophy in major depression rather a function of childhood maltreatment?
Harald Kugel 1 , Nils Opel 2 , Ronny Redlich 2 , Peter Zwanzger 2 , Dominik Grotegerd 2 , Volker Arolt 2 , Walter Heindel 1 , Carsten Konrad 3 , and Udo Dannlowski 2,3
Department of Clinical Radiology, University
of Muenster, Muenster, NRW, Germany,
of Psychiatry, University of Muenster, Muenster, NRW,
of Psychiatry, University of Marburg, Marburg, He,
This fMRI study investigates the frequently reported
smaller volume of the hippocampus in patients diagnosed
with major depressive disorder (MDD) compared to healthy
controls. Reduced hippocampus volumes have also been
reported for subjects affected by childhood
maltreatment, independently of a diagnosis of MDD. The
analysis of our morphometric measurements revealed that
while childhood maltreatment was associated with
hippocampal volume loss in both, patients and healthy
controls, there was no longer a difference between the
groups if maltreatment was regressed out. This may
provide an alternative explanation for limbic structural
alterations in depressed patients.
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