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Intrinsic gray-matter connectivity of the brain in major depressive disorder

journal contribution
posted on 15.05.2019, 00:00 authored by Huifeng Zhang, Meihui Qiu, Lei Ding, David MellorDavid Mellor, Gang Li, Ting Shen, Daihui Peng
BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been assumed to be associated with aberrant brain connectivity. However, research suggests that brain connectivity abnormalities should not be restricted to extrinsic white matter connectivity, but may also impact on intrinsic gray matter connectivity. Therefore, our study aimed to investigate the intrinsic gray-matter connectivity in MDD. METHODS: The participants were 16 first-episode, drug-naïve patients with MDD and 16 healthy controls matched on age and gender. All participants were scanned by 3.0T structural magnetic resonance imaging. Global and local intrinsic gray-matter connectivity were measured based on surface-based geodesic distances, including mean coritical separation distances (MSDs), perimeter function, and radius function. RESULTS: MDD patients had significantly lower MSDs in the left postcentral gyrus and higher MSDs in the left superior parietal cortex. Marginally significant correlation was observed between MSDs in the left postcentral gyrus and symptoms of depression. Compared with healthy controls, depressed subjects had abnormal local intrinsic gray-matter connectivity in the left postcentral gyrus, the left transverse temporal gyrus, the right lingual gyrus, the right lateral occipital cortex, and the right superior frontal gyrus. Furthermore, local intrinsic gray matter connections of these brain areas were associated with some symptoms of depression. LIMITATIONS: The small sample size limited the interpretability of our potential conclusions. CONCLUSION: Aberrant intrinsic gray-matter connectivity was observed in depressed subjects, indicating abnormal intrinsic wiring cost of brain architecture. This might help explain the aberrant topological properties of brain functional connectivity and provide insights into the vulnerability of MDD.



Journal of affective disorders




78 - 85




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, Elsevier B.V.