Questions for “Teen depression linked to how the brain processes rewards”

Depression can make you feel alone, but there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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To accompany feature “Teen depression linked to how the brain processes rewards


Before Reading:

1. What is depression? How is it different than just being sad?

2. What symptoms in a classmate or family member might signal depression?

During Reading:

1.  What are the nine main symptoms of depression?

2.  What is one reason that depression is hard to treat in different people?

3.  What is the limbic system? What role does it play in the brain?

4.  What difference did Katherine Luking note between the brains of teens who first experienced depression as adolescents and those who first experienced depression in preschool?

5.  Why is the brain’s reward-processing system important in the development of depression?

6.  What two factors in a person’s life do researchers think are necessary to developing a mental-health disorder such as depression?

7. What is the significance of the connections between neurons that link up the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex during adolescence?

8.  How does stress affect the molecule DCC in the brains of mice?

9.  What role does Cecilia Flores think miR-218 may play in the development of depression?

10. What is one reason that changes in a teen brain may have more lasting effects on mental health than similar changes in an adult brain?

After Reading:

1.  As described in the article, the brain undergoes many changes during adolescence. In what way does this make teens more vulnerable to mental health issues? What opportunities does the brain’s malleability give teens?

2.  What are two things you can do if you start feeling some of the symptoms of depression? What can you do if you notice symptoms of depression in a friend or loved one?