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Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2016 Jul 30;253:26-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.04.015. Epub 2016 Apr 28.

Relationship between prefrontal hemodynamic responses and quality of life differs between melancholia and non-melancholic depression.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kindai University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, Japan. Electronic address:
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kindai University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kindai University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, Japan; Department of Psychological Science, Graduate School of Humanities, Kwansei Gakuin University, Hyogo, Japan.


This study aimed to determine whether quality of life (QOL) reflects specific functional abnormalities of frontotemporal hemodynamic responses in melancholia. We recruited 30 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) with melancholic features (MDD-MF), 52 with non-melancholic features (MDD-NMF), and 68 healthy control subjects who were matched for age, sex ratio, and years of education. QOL was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and regional hemodynamic responses during a verbal fluency task were monitored with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Patients with MDD-MF scored significantly lower than those with MDD-NMF on the role emotional domain of SF-36. Both MDD patient groups exhibited lower hemodynamic responses in the frontotemporal regions than the control group. Hemodynamic responses in the frontotemporal regions were significantly smaller in patients with MDD-MF than in those with MDD-NMF. The role emotional domain of patients with MDD-MF was significantly and positively correlated with hemodynamic responses in the prefrontal region, whereas that of patients with MDD-NMF revealed no significant correlation. In conclusion, our results indicate that patients with MDD-MF exhibit qualitatively distinct prefrontal dysfunction patterns associated with emotional role functioning compared with patients with MDD-NMF.


Major depressive disorder; Melancholic depression; Near-infrared spectroscopy; SF-36

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