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Mult Scler. 2016 Jul;22(8):1094-105. doi: 10.1177/1352458515606987. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Individual differences in depression are associated with abnormal function of the limbic system in multiple sclerosis patients.

Author information

1
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University 'Magna Graecia', Catanzaro, Italy.
2
Institute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology, National Research Council, Catanzaro, Italy/Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, UK lp337@medschl.cam.ac.uk.
3
Institute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology, National Research Council, Catanzaro, Italy.
4
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University 'Magna Graecia', Catanzaro, Italy/Institute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology, National Research Council, Catanzaro, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Depression is common in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), although the brain mechanisms of this psychiatric condition in MS are poorly understood. Specifically, it remains to be determined whether depression in MS is related to altered activity and functional connectivity patterns within limbic circuits.

METHODS:

Seventy-seven MS patients with variable levels of depression (as assessed via the Beck Depression Inventory) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an emotional processing task. To conduct the functional connectivity analyses, the bilateral amygdala and hippocampus, two areas critically involved in the pathophysiology of depression, were chosen as 'seed' regions. Multiple regression models were used to assess how depression in MS patients was correlated with the activity and functional connectivity patterns within the limbic system.

RESULTS:

Depression scores in MS patients were negatively correlated: (1) with the activity in the subgenual cingulate cortex; (2) with the functional connectivity between the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex as well as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and (3) with the functional connectivity between the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study showed that individual differences in depression in MS patients were significantly associated with altered regional activity and functional connectivity patterns within the limbic system.

KEYWORDS:

Depression; functional connectivity; limbic system; multiple sclerosis; prefrontal cortex

PMID:
26453680
DOI:
10.1177/1352458515606987
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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