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Emotion-Dependent Functional Connectivity of the Default Mode Network in Adolescent Depression.
Published Web Locationhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/25483399/
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BackgroundFunctional magnetic resonance imaging research suggests that major depressive disorder (MDD) in both adults and adolescents is marked by aberrant connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) during resting state. However, emotional dysregulation is also a key feature of MDD. No studies to date have examined emotion-related DMN pathology in adolescent depression. Comprehensively understanding the dynamics of DMN connectivity across brain states in individuals with depression with short disease histories could provide insight into the etiology of MDD.
MethodsWe collected functional magnetic resonance imaging data during an emotion identification task and during resting state from 26 medication-free adolescents (13-17 years old) with MDD and 37 well-matched healthy control subjects. We examined between-group differences in blood oxygenation level-dependent task responses and emotion-dependent and resting-state functional connectivity of the two primary nodes of the DMN: medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Additionally, we examined between-group differences in DMN functional connectivity and its relationship to depression severity and onset.
ResultsRelative to healthy control subjects, unmedicated adolescents with MDD demonstrated reduced medial prefrontal cortex and PCC emotion-related deactivation and greater medial prefrontal cortex and PCC emotion-dependent functional connectivity with precuneus, cingulate gyrus, and striatum/subcallosal cingulate gyrus. The PCC-subcallosal cingulate connectivity remained inflexibly elevated in the subjects with MDD versus healthy control subjects during resting state. Stronger PCC emotion-dependent functional connectivity was associated with greater depression severity and an earlier age of depression onset.
ConclusionsAdolescent depression is associated with inflexibly elevated DMN connections. Given more recent evidence of DMN maturation throughout adolescence, our findings suggest that early-onset depression adversely affects normal development of functional brain networks.
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