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J Affect Disord. 2016 Nov 15;205:103-111. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.06.066. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Assessment of abnormal brain structures and networks in major depressive disorder using morphometric and connectome analyses.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi, Taiwan.
2
Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; Department of Medical Imaging, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.
3
School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
4
Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
6
Department of Neurosurgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
7
Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada.
8
Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada; Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
9
Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; Department of Medical Imaging, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan. Electronic address: jcweng@csmu.edu.tw.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is hypothesized that the phenomenology of major depressive disorder (MDD) is subserved by disturbances in the structure and function of brain circuits; however, findings of structural abnormalities using MRI have been inconsistent. Generalized q-sampling imaging (GQI) methodology provides an opportunity to assess the functional integrity of white matter tracts in implicated circuits.

METHODS:

The study population was comprised of 16 outpatients with MDD (mean age 44.81±2.2 years) and 30 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (mean age 45.03±1.88 years). We excluded participants with any other primary mental disorder, substance use disorder, or any neurological illnesses. We used T1-weighted 3D MRI with voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and vertex-wise shape analysis, and GQI with voxel-based statistical analysis (VBA), graph theoretical analysis (GTA) and network-based statistical (NBS) analysis to evaluate brain structure and connectivity abnormalities in MDD compared to healthy controls correlates with clinical measures of depressive symptom severity, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 17-item (HAMD) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

RESULTS:

Using VBM and vertex-wise shape analyses, we found significant volumetric decreases in the hippocampus and amygdala among subjects with MDD (p<0.001). Using GQI, we found decreases in diffusion anisotropy in the superior longitudinal fasciculus and increases in diffusion probability distribution in the frontal lobe among subjects with MDD (p<0.01). In GTA and NBS analyses, we found several disruptions in connectivity among subjects with MDD, particularly in the frontal lobes (p<0.05). In addition, structural alterations were correlated with depressive symptom severity (p<0.01).

LIMITATIONS:

Small sample size; the cross-sectional design did not allow us to observe treatment effects in the MDD participants.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results provide further evidence indicating that MDD may be conceptualized as a brain disorder with abnormal circuit structure and connectivity.

KEYWORDS:

Generalized q-sampling imaging (GQI); Graph theoretical analysis (GTA); Major depressive disorder (MDD); Network-based statistical analysis (NBS); Vertex-wise shape analysis; Voxel-based morphometry (VBM)

PMID:
27423425
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2016.06.066
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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