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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 May;39(6):1332-9. doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.345. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

Reconciling variable findings of white matter integrity in major depressive disorder.

Author information

  • 11] Department of Psychiatry, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA [2] The Wallace H Coulter, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical, Imaging Technology Center, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • 21] Department of Psychiatry, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA [2] Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, NH, USA.
  • 3Department of Electrical Engineering, Pontif√≠cia Universidade Cat√≥lica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
  • 4Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • 6The Wallace H Coulter, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical, Imaging Technology Center, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • 71] Department of Psychiatry, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA [2] Department of Neurology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been used to evaluate white matter (WM) integrity in major depressive disorder (MDD), with several studies reporting differences between depressed patients and controls. However, these findings are variable and taken from relatively small studies often using suboptimal analytic approaches. The presented DTI study examined WM integrity in large samples of medication-free MDD patients (n=134) and healthy controls (n=54) using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) approaches, and rigorous statistical thresholds. Compared with health control subjects, MDD patients show no significant differences in fractional anisotropy, radial diffusivity, mean diffusivity, and axonal diffusivity with either the VBM or the TBSS approach. Our findings suggest that disrupted WM integrity does not have a major role in the neurobiology of MDD in this relatively large study using optimal imaging acquisition and analysis; however, this does not eliminate the possibility that certain patient subgroups show WM disruption associated with depression.

PMID:
24352368
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3988550
[Available on 2015/5/1]
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