A new coronaviruses brain scan may have helped people with mild or moderate depression who had previously not been diagnosed with the disease, according to a study.
The results are based on a study of more than 7,500 people in the UK.
The study was published in the journal BMC Psychiatry.
The researchers said the scans showed that some people who had a history of mild or normal depression had a reduced likelihood of developing depression in adulthood, but did not know how or when.
The study, which was led by the University of Edinburgh, used data from the National Health Service and National Centre for Social Health.
It looked at the health and mental health outcomes of people who were diagnosed with mild to moderate depression.
It found that people who suffered from mild or no depression, but had not received any treatment, had an 18 per cent lower risk of developing a serious illness than those who had received treatment.
The authors also looked at outcomes in people who did not have a history.
It suggested that the scans could help people to make better decisions about their mental health and reduce depression.
The findings have implications for the diagnosis and treatment of depression, and will provide new insights into the biological causes of depression.
“It is possible that some of the reduced risk for depression in people with depression who were treated with CT scans could be related to their earlier diagnosis,” the study said.
“If this is the case, then the reduction in risk could be an indication that the diagnosis was more accurate than the treatment.”
The study has not yet been peer reviewed.
“The study is a step in the right direction, but we are not yet ready to offer recommendations,” said Dr Rachel Hirst, who led the research.
The scientists said the findings could lead to new treatments for people with the condition.
“While we know that CT scans can help to prevent serious illness in some people, we also know that the disease itself is associated with a range of serious health issues,” Dr Hirst said.