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Gray Matter in Cerebellum Might Indicate Social Isolation, Depression Risk

Key clinical point: Individuals who are more vulnerable to perceiving loneliness based on the UCLA Loneliness Scale have increased volume of gray matter in particular areas of the posterior cerebellum based on MRI data.

Major finding: Significant differences in gray matter appeared between individuals more susceptible to loneliness, and might have implications for the role of the cerebellum in loneliness and for interventions aimed at reducing loneliness in the general population. Loneliness can be a factor in the development of depression.

Study details: The data come from a study of 99 healthy individuals.

Disclosures: The study was supported by the University of Hong Kong May Endowed Professorship in Neuropsychology. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.

Citation:

Wong NML et al. Brain Struct Funct. 2019. doi: 10.1007/s00429-019-01965-y.