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Psychiatry Res. 2020 Jan 31;285:112837. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112837. [Epub ahead of print]

Abnormal functional connectivity of habenula in untreated patients with first-episode major depressive disorder.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China; Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Nanjing Brain Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China; Functional Brain Imaging Institute of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Institute of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Nanjing Brain Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China.
4
School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China; Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China. Electronic address: fmrizhongy@126.com.

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with abnormalities in emotional/cognitive processing and low reward sensitivity. The habenula has a pivotal role in these processes that may contribute to depression. However, there has been little research on the abnormal connectivity between the habenula and whole brain of first-onset MDD. We aimed to explore the differences of functional connectivity between patients and healthy controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We used seed-based resting-state fMRI to examine functional connectivity between the habenula and whole-brain in 49 first-episode depressive patients and 25 healthy controls. Compared to controls, patients with MDD demonstrated significant increases in functional connectivity between the habenula and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). Furthermore, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve proved that connectivity between the habenula and dlPFC was highly predictive. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) score and functional connectivity between the habenula and right dlPFC. We found that the aberrant functional connectivity to the habenula and dlPFC can distinguish MDD patients from the normal.

KEYWORDS:

Depression; Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; Functional connectivity; Habenula

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Competing Interest None.

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