Depression - age of onset

Professor Wayne Drevets explains that depression most commonly arises after puberty. There are exceptions, where it arises in childhood or in relatively late adulthood.

The age of onset for depression usually arises after puberty. There is something about going through the hormonal changes associated with puberty that seems to trigger the depression in the largest number of patients. There are exceptions; sometimes it can begin in childhood and sometimes it can arise in early 20’s and 30’s. There are also late onset forms of depression, where you typically see depression arising after 45-50, and those late onset forms are often associated with structural brain abnormalities like cerebral vascular lesions. The locations of those lesions end up affecting the same areas of the brain that we see affected in the early onset forms of depression, but the type of pathophysiology is different. So in the late onset depression it’s like getting a cerebral vascular disease lesion that seems to interfere with the function of some of the prefrontal cortex regions or striatal regions that are modulating areas that get involved in regulating emotions like the amygdala, whereas in young individuals where they get an early onset depression. There, instead, we see structural brain imaging abnormalities and post mortem cellular changes that suggest that those regions of the prefrontal cortex and striatum also aren’t functioning right in modulating the emotional expression.

depression, onset, adolescence, puberty, hormonal changes, wayne, drevets

Related Content

2082. Depressed learning

Professor Wayne Drevets discusses specific types of learning deficits associated with depression. These may be caused by biochemical impairments in long-term potentiation.

  • ID: 2082
  • Source: G2C

2284. Hormones, Depression, and Anxiety

Doctor Daniel Pine explains that hormones are a contributing factor to the development of anxiety and depression. They interact with a number of other factors to cause to these disorders.

  • ID: 2284
  • Source: G2C

2074. The amygdala and depression

Professor Wayne Drevets outlines the amygdala's importance to the neurobiology of depression. He concludes that stimulation of the amygdala can elicit depression-like emotional experiences.

  • ID: 2074
  • Source: G2C

2083. Dendritic atrophy

Professor Wayne Drevets describes dendritic atrophy, which refers to reductions in the branching of neurons.

  • ID: 2083
  • Source: G2C

2076. Stressors and the environment cause depression

Professor Wayne Drevets discusses the ways in which stress can lead to depression. Research into interactions between stress and genes include a mutation in the serotonin transporter region.

  • ID: 2076
  • Source: G2C

2087. Brain cells and depression/bipolar disorder

Professor Wayne Drevets explains that specific glial cells known as oligodendrocytes may be decreased in the brains of individuals who have bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder.

  • ID: 2087
  • Source: G2C

2283. Anxiety and Depression - Sex DIfferences

Doctor Daniel Pine discusses explains that anxiety is more common in girls and women. Depression is also more common in women, but only after puberty. Anxiety may predict depression.

  • ID: 2283
  • Source: G2C

2086. Treating bipolar disorder: the dopamine system

Professor Wayne Drevets describes how dopamine receptor antagonists can stop mania. Similarly, enhancing dopamine function can enhance depression.

  • ID: 2086
  • Source: G2C

1397. Depression - Lifestyle

Doctor Jon Lieberman describes some of the life-events that may have been a factor in his first major depressive episode at 52 years of age.

  • ID: 1397
  • Source: G2C

2225. Depression

An overview of depression-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.

  • ID: 2225
  • Source: G2C