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J Affect Disord. 2018 Jan 15;226:267-273. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.10.013. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Is negative self-referent bias an endophenotype for depression? An fMRI study of emotional self-referent words in twins at high vs. low risk of depression.

Author information

1
Mental Health Services - Capital Region of Denmark, Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark; Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address: Kamilla@miskowiak.dk.
2
Mental Health Services - Capital Region of Denmark, Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark. Electronic address: julia-evelyn@live.dk.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Catherine.harmer@psych.ox.ac.uk.
4
Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Centre for Functional and Diagnostic Imaging and Research, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark; Department of Neurology, Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg, Denmark. Electronic address: hartwig.siebner@drcmr.dk.
5
Mental Health Services - Capital Region of Denmark, Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark. Electronic address: lars.vedel.kessing@regionh.dk.
6
Mental Health Services - Capital Region of Denmark, Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark. Electronic address: Julian.macoveanu@regionh.dk.
7
Mental Health Services - Capital Region of Denmark, Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark. Electronic address: maj.vinberg@regionh.dk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Negative cognitive bias and aberrant neural processing of self-referent emotional words seem to be trait-marks of depression. However, it is unclear whether these neurocognitive changes are present in unaffected first-degree relatives and constitute an illness endophenotype.

METHODS:

Fifty-three healthy, never-depressed monozygotic or dizygotic twins with a co-twin history of depression (high-risk group: n = 26) or no first-degree family history of depression (low-risk group: n = 27) underwent neurocognitive testing and functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) as part of a follow-up cohort study. Participants performed a self-referent emotional word categorisation task and free word recall task followed by a recognition task during fMRI. Participants also completed questionnaires assessing mood, personality traits and coping strategies.

RESULTS:

High-risk and low-risk twins (age, mean ± SD: 40 ± 11) were well-balanced for demographic variables, mood, coping and neuroticism. High-risk twins showed lower accuracy during self-referent categorisation of emotional words independent of valence and more false recollections of negative words than low-risk twins during free recall. Functional MRI yielded no differences between high-risk and low-risk twins in retrieval-specific neural activity for positive or negative words or during the recognition of negative versus positive words within the hippocampus or prefrontal cortex.

CONCLUSIONS:

The subtle display of negative recall bias is consistent with the hypothesis that self-referent negative memory bias is an endophenotype for depression. High-risk twins' lower categorisation accuracy adds to the evidence for valence-independent cognitive deficits in individuals at familial risk for depression.

KEYWORDS:

Cognition; Depression; Endophenotype; FMRI; Familial risk

PMID:
29020651
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2017.10.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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