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Neurobiological Markers of Familial Risk for Depression

  • Lara C. Foland-Ross
  • Michael G. Hardin
  • Ian H. GotlibEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 14)

Abstract

Major depression is associated with a wide range of neurobiological disturbances, including anomalies in the structure and function of cortical and subcortical gray matter and dysregulation of the HPA axis. In this chapter, we review research demonstrating that many of these abnormalities are also present in never-depressed offspring of adults with recurrent depression and discuss how such findings might reflect dysfunctional neuroregulatory systems that precede the onset of this disorder. We also briefly discuss candidate genes and environmental factors that have been posited to be directly involved in the transmission of neural and HPA-axis abnormalities from depressed parents to their offspring, and we review how, by obtaining a better understanding of the neurobiological markers of depression risk, we can facilitate the development of targeted strategies for the prevention and treatment of major depression.

Keywords

Depression Risk Neuroimaging Cortisol Hippocampus DLPFC Amygdala Genetics 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Preparation of this chapter was facilitated by NIMH Grants MH59259 and MH74849 to Ian H. Gotlib and MH090617 to Lara Foland-Ross, and by a Hope for Depression Research Foundation Grant awarded to Ian H. Gotlib and Lara Foland-Ross.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lara C. Foland-Ross
    • 1
  • Michael G. Hardin
    • 1
  • Ian H. Gotlib
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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