The question if an individual will suffer from relapsing major depressive disorder is not determined by accident. Neuroscientists from the Mercator Research Group “Structure of Memory” have chosen a new research approach, using computer-based models to study the disease. They show that chronic depression is triggered due to an unfortunate combination of internal and external factors. Their research findings were published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Selver Demic and his colleagues from the Mercator Research Group have set out to find out more about the causes of depression. “Approx. 20 per cent of the population will suffer a depressive episode in the course of their lives,” says Demic. “This cohort of 20 per cent includes people who will never again experience any problems after that one-time episode is over. The others, however, will suffer repeatedly or chronically under the disorder, despite taking appropriate medication. We want to use our model to explain the occurrence and recurrence rates.”