Send to

Choose Destination
Hum Brain Mapp. 2019 Sep;40(13):3940-3950. doi: 10.1002/hbm.24679. Epub 2019 Jun 9.

Multimodal imaging reveals a complex pattern of dysfunction in corticolimbic pathways in major depressive disorder.

Author information

Section on the Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood Disorders, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
Magnetoencephalography Core Facility, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is highly prevalent and associated with considerable morbidity, yet its pathophysiology remains only partially understood. While numerous studies have investigated the neurobiological correlates of MDD, most have used only a single neuroimaging modality. In particular, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have failed to yield uniform results. In this context, examining key tracts and using information from multiple neuroimaging modalities may better characterize potential abnormalities in the MDD brain. This study analyzed data from 30 participants with MDD and 26 healthy participants who underwent DTI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Tracts connecting the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) and the left and right amygdala, as well as connections to the left and right hippocampus and thalamus, were examined as target areas. Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) was observed in the studied tracts. Significant differences in the correlation between medial prefrontal glutamate concentrations and FA were also observed between MDD and healthy participants along tracts connecting the sgACC and right amygdala; healthy participants exhibited a strong correlation but MDD participants showed no such relationship. In the same tract, a correlation was observed between FA and subsequent antidepressant response to ketamine infusion in MDD participants. Exploratory models also suggested group differences in the relationship between DTI, fMRI, and MEG measures. This study is the first to combine MRS, DTI, fMRI, and MEG data to obtain multimodal indices of MDD and antidepressant response and may lay the foundation for similar future analyses.


diffusion tensor imaging; functional magnetic resonance imaging; magnetic resonance spectroscopy; magnetoencephalography; major depressive disorder; multimodal

[Available on 2020-09-01]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center