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Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2019 Sep 11;15:2629-2638. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S220743. eCollection 2019.

Disrupted Brain Entropy And Functional Connectivity Patterns Of Thalamic Subregions In Major Depressive Disorder.

Xue SW1,2, Wang D1,2, Tan Z3, Wang Y1,2, Lian Z1,2, Sun Y1,2, Hu X1,2, Wang X1,2, Zhou X1,2.

Author information

Center for Cognition and Brain Disorders, Institutes of Psychological Sciences and the Affiliated Hospital, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 311121, People's Republic of China.
Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Research in Assessment of Cognitive Impairments, Hangzhou 311121, People's Republic of China.
Department of Psychiatry, Hangzhou Seventh People's Hospital, Hangzhou 310013, People's Republic of China.



Entropy analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) has recently been adopted to characterize brain temporal dynamics in some neuropsychological or psychiatric diseases. Thalamus-related dysfunction might be a potential trait marker of major depressive disorder (MDD), but the abnormal changes in the thalamus based on R-fMRI are still unclear from the perspective of brain temporal dynamics. The aim of this study was to identify local entropy changes and subregional connectivity patterns of the thalamus in MDD patients.

Patients and methods:

We measured the sample entropy of the R-fMRI data from 46 MDD patients and 32 matched healthy controls. We employed the Louvain method for the module detection algorithm to automatically identify a functional parcellation of the thalamus and then examined the whole-brain subregional connectivity patterns.


The results indicated that the MDD patients had decreased entropy in the bilateral thalami compared with healthy controls. Increased functional connectivity between the thalamic subregions and the medial part of the superior frontal gyrus (mSFG) was found in MDD patients.


This study showed new evidence about sample entropy changes in MDD patients. The functional connectivity alterations that were widely distributed across almost all the thalamic subregions with the mSFG in MDD suggest a general involvement independent of the location and function of the subregions.


entropy; functional connectivity; major depressive disorder; superior frontal gyrus; thalamus

Conflict of interest statement

The authors report no conflicts of interest in relation to this work.

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