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Front Psychiatry. 2019 Aug 9;10:548. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00548. eCollection 2019.

EEG Resting-State Large-Scale Brain Network Dynamics Are Related to Depressive Symptoms.

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Department of Basic Neurosciences, Campus Biotech, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University and University Hospital Brno, Brno, Czechia.
Lemanic Biomedical Imaging Centre (CIBM), Geneva, Switzerland.


Background: The few previous studies on resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) microstates in depressive patients suggest altered temporal characteristics of microstates compared to those of healthy subjects. We tested whether resting-state microstate temporal characteristics could capture large-scale brain network dynamic activity relevant to depressive symptomatology. Methods: To evaluate a possible relationship between the resting-state large-scale brain network dynamics and depressive symptoms, we performed EEG microstate analysis in 19 patients with moderate to severe depression in bipolar affective disorder, depressive episode, and recurrent depressive disorder and in 19 healthy controls. Results: Microstate analysis revealed six classes of microstates (A-F) in global clustering across all subjects. There were no between-group differences in the temporal characteristics of microstates. In the patient group, higher depressive symptomatology on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale correlated with higher occurrence of microstate A (Spearman's rank correlation, r = 0.70, p < 0.01). Conclusion: Our results suggest that the observed interindividual differences in resting-state EEG microstate parameters could reflect altered large-scale brain network dynamics relevant to depressive symptomatology during depressive episodes. Replication in larger cohort is needed to assess the utility of the microstate analysis approach in an objective depression assessment at the individual level.


EEG microstates; bipolar disorder; dynamic brain activity; large-scale brain networks; major depressive disorder; resting state

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