Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Med. 2002 Aug;32(6):1029-37.

Decreased cerebral haemodynamic response to cognitive and physiological tasks in mood disorders as shown by near-infrared spectroscopy.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, JR Tokyo General Hospital, Japan.



Hypofrontality has been demonstrated in mood disorders by functional brain imaging methods such as positron emission tomography. However, the neurobiological basis of hypofrontality has not been well clarified. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-invasive technique for continuous monitoring of alterations in oxygenated (oxyHb) and deoxygenated (deoxyHb) haemoglobin using near-infrared light, which penetrates biological tissues.


We used NIRS during cognitive and physiological tasks to investigate alterations of haemoglobin oxygenation in the frontal region of euthymic patients with mood disorders (major depressive disorder (MD) and bipolar disorder (BP)) and in controls.


The increase of oxyHb during a verbal fluency task was significantly less in the MD and the BP groups than in the controls. The MD group showed a significantly smaller decrease of oxyHb during hyperventilation than the controls. The BP group also showed a similar trend.


These findings suggest that the hypofrontality in mood disorders may be associated with a poor response in the cerebral blood vessels to neuronal and chemical stimuli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center