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NMR Biomed. 2013 Sep;26(9):1103-12. doi: 10.1002/nbm.2924. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

White matter integrity affected by depressive symptoms in migraine without aura: a tract-based spatial statistics study.

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  • 1Life Sciences Research Center, School of Life Sciences and Technology, Xidian University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.


Previous studies have proven that migraine and depression are bidirectionally linked. However, few studies have investigated white matter (WM) integrity affected by depressive symptoms in patients suffering from migraine without aura (MWoA). Forty patients with MWoA were divided into two groups according to their self-rating depression scale (SDS) score in the present study, including 20 in the SDS (+) (SDS > 49) group and 20 in the SDS (-) (SDS ≤ 49) group. Forty healthy participants were also recruited as the control group. Tract-based spatial statistics analyses with multiple diffusion tensor imaging-derived indices [fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), axial diffusivity (AD)] were employed collectively to investigate WM integrity between all patients with MWoA and all healthy controls, between each subgroup (SDS (-) group and SDS (+) group) and healthy controls, and between the SDS (-) and SDS (+) groups. Compared with healthy controls, decreased AD was shown in several WM tracts of the whole MWoA group, SDS (-) group and SDS (+) group. In addition, compared with the SDS (-) group, the SDS (+) group showed decreased FA and increased MD and RD, with conserved AD, including the genu, body and splenium of the corpus callosum, bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculi, the right anterior corona radiata and some other WM tracts, similar to previous findings in depression disorder. Furthermore, mean FA and RD in some of the above-mentioned WM tracts in the SDS (+) group were correlated significantly with SDS scores, including the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum, the right anterior corona radiata and the superior longitudinal fasciculi. Our results suggest that WM integrity may be affected by both depression symptoms (more sensitive as RD) and migraine (more sensitive as AD). The findings may serve as a sensitive biomarker of depression severity in MWoA.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


anterior corona radiata (ACR); corpus callosum (CC); depressive symptoms; migraine without aura (MWoA); superior longitudinal fasciculi (SLF); tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS)

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