White Matter Abnormalities in First-Episode, Treatment-Naive Young Adults With Major Depressive Disorder

Ma, Ning, Li, Lingjiang, Shu, Ni, Liu, Jun, Gong, Gaolang, He, Zhong, Li, Zexuan, Tan, Liwen, Stone, William S., Zhang, Zishu, Xu, Lin and Jiang, Tianzi (2007) White Matter Abnormalities in First-Episode, Treatment-Naive Young Adults With Major Depressive Disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 164 5: 823-826. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.164.5.823

Author Ma, Ning
Li, Lingjiang
Shu, Ni
Liu, Jun
Gong, Gaolang
He, Zhong
Li, Zexuan
Tan, Liwen
Stone, William S.
Zhang, Zishu
Xu, Lin
Jiang, Tianzi
Title White Matter Abnormalities in First-Episode, Treatment-Naive Young Adults With Major Depressive Disorder
Journal name The American Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0002-953X
Publication date 2007-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1176/appi.ajp.164.5.823
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 164
Issue 5
Start page 823
End page 826
Total pages 4
Place of publication Arlington, VA, United States
Publisher American Psychiatric Publishing
Language eng
Abstract The neuro-anatomical substrates of major depressive disorder (MDD) are still not well understood, despite many neuroimaging studies over the past few decades. Here we present the largest ever worldwide study by the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Major Depressive Disorder Working Group on cortical structural alterations in MDD. Structural T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans from 2148 MDD patients and 7957 healthy controls were analysed with harmonized protocols at 20 sites around the world. To detect consistent effects of MDD and its modulators on cortical thickness and surface area estimates derived from MRI, statistical effects from sites were meta-analysed separately for adults and adolescents. Adults with MDD had thinner cortical gray matter than controls in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior and posterior cingulate, insula and temporal lobes (Cohen's d effect sizes: -0.10 to -0.14). These effects were most pronounced in first episode and adult-onset patients (>21 years). Compared to matched controls, adolescents with MDD had lower total surface area (but no differences in cortical thickness) and regional reductions in frontal regions (medial OFC and superior frontal gyrus) and primary and higher-order visual, somatosensory and motor areas (d: -0.26 to -0.57). The strongest effects were found in recurrent adolescent patients. This highly powered global effort to identify consistent brain abnormalities showed widespread cortical alterations in MDD patients as compared to controls and suggests that MDD may impact brain structure in a highly dynamic way, with different patterns of alterations at different stages of life.
Formatted abstract
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the microstructural integrity of whole-brain white matter by diffusion tensor imaging in first-episode, treatment-naive young adults with major depressive disorder.
METHOD: Diffusion tensor imaging scans were obtained from 14 first-episode, treatment-naive young adult patients with major depressive disorder and 14 healthy comparison subjects. A voxel-based method was used to analyze the scans.
RESULTS: The patient group exhibited significantly lower fractional anisotropy values than healthy comparison subjects in the white matter of the right middle frontal gyrus, the left lateral occipitotemporal gyrus, and the subgyral and angular gyri of the right parietal lobe. There were no regions of significantly higher fractional anisotropy values in patients compared with healthy comparison subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that abnormalities of brain white matter may be present early in the course of major depressive disorder. They also support the idea that white matter lesions may disrupt the neural circuits involved in mood regulation and thus contribute to the neuropathology of major depressive disorder.

Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 104036
U54 EB020403
R01 HD050735
R01 MH059259
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 104 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 20 Oct 2011, 21:43:23 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute