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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2012 Dec;119(12):1565-73. doi: 10.1007/s00702-012-0871-2. Epub 2012 Aug 25.

Auditory processing in remitted major depression: a long-term follow-up investigation using 3T-fMRI.

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Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Building A9, 49149, Muenster, Germany.


Major depression is accompanied by cortical dysfunction including impaired auditory processing of non-speech stimuli. In a previous study, we could show that potent antidepressant treatment with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) did not lead to full functional normalization of altered fMRI activation patterns in response to sine tones although depressive symptoms improved and remission was achieved in the majority of patients. In a next step, a longitudinal follow-up investigation was conducted looking on neuronal activation over time along with full remission in a subgroup of patients of the previous study in order to address the question whether changes in neuronal activation patterns reflect a more state- or trait-dependent characteristic. Results showed that although clinically remitted, patients still exhibited an increased activity of the secondary auditory cortex and multimodal recruitment of the left cuneus, an area of the visual system. However, activity of recruited secondary visual network had decreased over time. A positive correlation was observed between the number of hospital admissions during the follow-up period and activity of the secondary visual area of the left cuneus at baseline prior to ECT. Thus, although the persistence of differences in activation patterns after sine tone presentation in this follow-up investigation could argue for a potential trait marker of depression characterized by alterations in auditory processing, attenuation of neuronal activation in some areas over time suggests that changes might in part also be state-dependent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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