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J Affect Disord. 2017 Feb;209:135-139. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.11.024. Epub 2016 Nov 20.

Successful group psychotherapy of depression in adolescents alters fronto-limbic resting-state connectivity.

Author information

1
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Ulm, Germany.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany; Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany; Institute of Cognitive Neurology and Dementia Research (IKND), Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Magdeburg, Germany.
3
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.
4
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Ulm, Germany; Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical School Brandenburg, Germany.
5
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy III, University Hospital Ulm, Germany.
6
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy III, University Hospital Ulm, Germany. Electronic address: Birgit.Abler@uni-ulm.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Current resting state imaging findings support suggestions that the neural signature of depression and therefore also its therapy should be conceptualized as a network disorder rather than a dysfunction of specific brain regions. In this study, we compared neural connectivity of adolescent patients with depression (PAT) and matched healthy controls (HC) and analysed pre-to-post changes of seed-based network connectivities in PAT after participation in a cognitive behavioral group psychotherapy (CBT).

METHODS:

38 adolescents (30 female; 19 patients; 13-18 years) underwent an eyes-closed resting-state scan. PAT were scanned before (pre) and after (post) five sessions of CBT. Resting-state functional connectivity was analysed in a seed-based approach for right-sided amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC). Symptom severity was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory Revision (BDI-II).

RESULTS:

Prior to group CBT, between groups amygdala and sgACC connectivity with regions of the default mode network was stronger in the patients group relative to controls. Within the PAT group, a similar pattern significantly decreased after successful CBT. Conversely, seed-based connectivity with affective regions and regions processing cognition and salient stimuli was stronger in HC relative to PAT before CBT. Within the PAT group, a similar pattern changed with CBT. Changes in connectivity correlated with the significant pre-to-post symptom improvement, and pre-treatment amygdala connectivity predicted treatment response in depressed adolescents.

LIMITATIONS:

Sample size and missing long-term follow-up limit the interpretability.

CONCLUSIONS:

Successful group psychotherapy of depression in adolescents involved connectivity changes in resting state networks to that of healthy controls.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; CBT; Connectivity; Depression; Group psychotherapy; Resting state MRI

PMID:
27912160
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2016.11.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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