People who have a family history of depression may have less matter on the right side of their brain.
Researchers at Columbia University studied the brains of over 130 people age 6 to 54, some had a family history of depression. They found those with a familial link to the disease had a 28 percent thinning of the right side of the brain, called the cortex.
They say having a thinner cortex disrupts a person's ability to interpret social and emotional cues, which increases the risk for depression.
However, the participants with the brain differences did not necessarily develop depression, only when they had additional thinning on the left side did they get the disease.
The researchers also found the less brain material a person had on the right side of the brain, the worse they performed on memory and attention tests.