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J Affect Disord. 2013 Jul;149(1-3):299-306. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.02.002. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Resting-state brain activity in major depressive disorder patients and their siblings.

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Department of Radiology, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.



Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly heritable psychiatric disease, and the existing literature is not robust enough to allow us to evaluate whether MDD-associated biomarkers are state-independent heritable endophenotypes or state markers related to depression per se.


Twenty two patients diagnosed with MDD, 22 siblings, as well as 26 gender-, age-, and education-matched healthy subjects, participated in the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis. We compared the differences in the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) among the three groups and investigated the correlation between clinical measurements and fALFF in the regions displaying significant group differences.


Both the MDD and siblings groups showed an increased fALFF in the left middle frontal gyrus (l-MFG, Brodmann Area, BA 10) compared to the healthy controls. The MDD groups demonstrated an increased fALFF in the right dorsal medial frontal gyrus (r-DMFG, BA 9) and a decreased fALFF in the bilateral lingual gyrus relative to siblings and healthy controls.


Medication effects, an inability to control subjects' thoughts during imaging.


Our results suggest that the dysfunction in the l-MFG may represent an imaging endophenotype which may indicate a risk for MDD. The r-DMFG may play a critical role in depressive symptomatology and may reveal therapeutic target for MDD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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