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Br J Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 18:1-7. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2019.10. [Epub ahead of print]

Resting-state neural network disturbances that underpin the emergence of emotional symptoms in adolescent girls: resting-state fMRI study.

Author information

1
Professor and Head,Academic Department of Psychiatry,Northern Sydney Local Health District; ARCHI, Sydney Medical School Northern,The University of Sydney; andCADE Clinic, Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Sydney Local Health District,Australia.
2
Senior Neuroscientist,Academic Department of Psychiatry,Northern Sydney Local Health District;ARCHI, Sydney Medical School Northern,The University of Sydney;and CADE Clinic, Royal North Shore Hospital,Northern Sydney Local Health District,Australia.
3
Research Fellow,Academic Department of Psychiatry,Northern Sydney Local Health District;ARCHI, Sydney Medical School Northern,The University of Sydney;and CADE Clinic,Royal North Shore Hospital,Northern Sydney Local Health District,Australia.
4
Scientia Professor, School of Psychology,University of New South Wales,Australia.
5
Professor and Head,The Mind Research Network; andDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering,University of New Mexico,USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Subsyndromal emotional symptoms in adolescence may represent precursors for full-blown emotional disorders in early adulthood. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that drive this development is essential for prevention.AimsSelf-referential processing and emotion regulation are remodelled substantively during adolescence, therefore this study examined integration of key neural networks involved in these processes.

METHOD:

At baseline, clinical and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected for 88 adolescent girls (mean age 15 years), and 71 of these girls underwent repeat clinical assessment after 2 years. These 71 girls were then partitioned into two groups depending on the presence (ES+) or absence (ES-) of emotional symptoms, and differences in dynamic functional network connectivity were determined and correlated with clinical variables.

RESULTS:

The two groups displayed a differential pattern of functional connectivity involving the left lateral prefrontal network (LPFN). Specifically, in the ES+ group this network displayed positive coupling with the right LPFN but negative coupling with the default mode network, and the inverse of this pattern was found in the ES- group. Furthermore, the coupling strengths between left and right LPFN at the irst time point predicted follow-up depression and state anxiety scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggest that in adolescent girls, emotional symptoms may emerge as a result of impaired integration between networks involved in self-referential information processing and approach-avoidance behaviours. These impairments can compromise the pursuit of important goals and have an impact on emotion processing and finally may lead to the development of emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression in adulthood.Declaration of interestNone.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Dynamic Functional Connectivity (dFNC); depression; emotional disorders; fMRI

PMID:
30880661
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.2019.10

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