Medical Breakthroughs Reported by Click here to go to the homepage.
Be the First to Know. Click here to subscribe FREE!
Search Reports: Use quotation marks around your multi-word search terms in the box below to perform search of
Advances in health and medicine.Use " marks around search terms
What's New
News Flash
  Alternative Health
Asthma & Allergies
Breast Cancer
Cardiovascular Health
Children's Health
Dental Health
Fertility & Pregnancy
Men's Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis
Neurological Disorders
Nutrition & Wellness
Pet Health
Seniors' Health
Sports Medicine
Women's Health
Advances in health and medicine.
Click here to sign up for Medical Alerts!
Click below to access other news from Ivanhoe Broadcast News.
  Click here to get Ivanhoe's Medical Headline RSS feed Click here to listen to Ivanhoe's Medical Podcasts
Useful Links
Play It Again, Please
E-Mail a Friend
Order Books Online
Inside Science
Smart Woman
Advances in health and medicine.
Smart Woman Home
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Smart Woman Home
Advances in health and medicine.
Click below to learn about Ivanhoe.
About Us
Contact Us
Ivanhoe FAQ
Our TV Partners
Travel Calendar
Advances in health and medicine.
Ivanhoe celebrates 20 years of medical news reporting reaching nearly 80 million TV households each week. Click here to learn more...
Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Children's Health Channel
Reported March 11, 2014

Depressed Preschoolers?

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Depression is the most common mental health problem in the U.S., affecting about 17 million people. When you think of depression, you probably don’t think about children—especially preschool children. However, researchers are discovering new insights about this disorder in the very young.

For most preschoolers life is about laughing, playing, and having fun, but even the smallest tykes feel down sometimes.

Child psychiatrist Joan Luby has been studying depression in preschool children for more than 20 years.

“Children as young as age 3 can get clinical depression,” Joan L. Luby, MD, Professor of Psychiatry (Child), Director of the Early Emotional Development Program, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., told Ivanhoe.

In a recent imaging study, Luby’s group found depressed preschoolers had elevated activity in an area of the brain called the amygdala.

“We can see changes in the structure and volume of several key brain regions that are known to be involved in emotion processing,” Dr. Luby said.

The study was the first to show these changes in children so young.

“We believe that the earlier you can identify the disorder, the more effective treatment will be,” Dr. Luby said.

Researchers believe as many as one in every 33 children may have depression. Children with depression are often withdrawn, highly sensitive, have a difficult time dealing with negative emotions, and are preoccupied with feelings of guilt. The symptoms often go unnoticed.

“Most people don’t pick up on depression in their young children. Mostly parents pick up on what we call disruptive symptoms in children,” Luby said.

However, if you do spot the symptoms, getting help could make all the difference.

In very young children, Dr. Luby says a strategy called “parent child interaction therapy— emotion development” is helpful. It works on strengthening the parent-child relationship and helps the parent serve as an “emotional coach” for their depressed child.

There are several treatments for older children with depression. Anti-depressants are considered generally safe for children older than seven, but the FDA has placed a “black box” warning on these drugs because of the increased risk of suicidal thinking.

For additional research on this article, click here.

Sign up for a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs called First to Know by clicking here.

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Emily Farr at


Judy Martin
Director of Media Relations
Washington University School of Medicine
(314) 286-0105

Related Articles in Latest Medical News:

 Doctor Contact
Medical Alerts!

[ Back to Children's Health Channel Home ]

Most Recent Videos

Follow Us On:

Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Twitter page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Facebook page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's YouTube page

Laughter is the Best Medicine! To post a joke or saying, click here!

Home | What's New | News Flash | Search/Latest Medical News | E-Mail Medical Alerts!
Ivanhoe FAQ | Privacy Policy | Our TV Partners | Awards | Useful Links | Play It Again, Please
RSS Feeds | Advertising/Sponsorships | Content Syndication | Reprints

Advances in health and medicine.
Copyright © 2016 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802

Premium Content in Latest Medical News Denotes Premium Content in Latest Medical News