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Brain Imaging Behav. 2019 Mar 13. doi: 10.1007/s11682-019-00055-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Identifying generalized anxiety disorder using resting state habenular circuitry.

Ma Z1,2, Zhong Y3, Hines CS4, Wu Y3, Li Y3, Pang M1,2, Li J3, Wang C1,2, Fox PT1,2,4,5, Zhang N1,2, Wang C6,7.

Author information

1
Nanjing Brain Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
2
Functional Brain Imaging Institute of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
3
School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
4
South Texas Veterans Healthcare System, University of Texas Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.
5
Research Imaging Institute, University of Texas Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.
6
Nanjing Brain Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. fm51109@163.com.
7
Functional Brain Imaging Institute of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. fm51109@163.com.

Abstract

Studies identify the habenula as a key subcortical component in anxiety, with a role in predicting error coding within the evaluative system. However, no clinical reports of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) describe resting state functional connectivity of habenular circuits. We hypothesized that resting-state functional connectivities of habenula would show differences in neuroanatomical correlates of the evaluative system (prefrontal cortex, habenula) of patients with GAD. We obtained 22 patients with GAD and 21 HCs, matched for gender, age, and years of education. Resting-state functional connectivity of the habenula was assessed using a seed-based template imposed on whole brain MRI, which provided an objective and semi-automated segmentation algorithm in MNI space. Patients with GAD demonstrated enhanced connectivities in the bilateral premotor cortex, right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, medial frontal cortex, as well as the left orbitofrontal cortex, and reduced connectivities in the left posterior cingulate cortex, and right pulvinar. Moreover, striking differences of abnormal connectivities between groups were observed via analysis of receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) of statistically significant. These results including ROC curves suggest the potential importance of the habenula in evaluating and deciding to personally relevant reward-related information.

KEYWORDS:

Evaluation system; Generalized anxiety disorder; Habenula; Resting-state functional connectivity; Reward circuit

PMID:
30868402
DOI:
10.1007/s11682-019-00055-1

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