Neuropsychological and neuroimaging evidence for the involvement of the frontal lobes in depression: 20 years on.
In 1997, neuropsychological and neuroimaging evidence supported the involvement of the frontal lobes and indeed the brain in depression. This was a challenge to conventional phenomenology and linked with the imperative to use neuroscience to understand major mental illness. Since that time, we are seeing ever more convincing evidence for the genetic basis of mental illness (including depression), relevant abnormality in grey and white matter and neuropsychological analysis of brain function. It has proved more difficult to pin down structural abnormality in major depression at the cellular level, but a focus on glial cells is increasingly justified by the evidence. Neuroscience continues to be a buttress against anti-scientific impulses in psychiatry and can help attract young people to enter it as a profession.