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Multimodal brain imaging connectivity analyses of emotional and motivational deficits in depression among women

Abstract : Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by impaired cortical–subcortical functional connectivity. Apathy adds to functional impairment, but its cerebral basis in MDD remains unknown. Our objective was to describe impairments in functional connectivity during emotional processing in MDD (with varying levels of congruency and attention), and to determine their correlation with apathy. Methods: We used the Variable Attention Affective Task during functional MRI, followed by diffusion-weighted MRI, to assess 55 right-handed women (30 with MDD and 25 healthy controls) between September 2012 and February 2015. We estimated functional connectivity using generalized psychophysiologic interaction and anatomic connectivity with tract-based spatial statistics. We measured apathy using the Apathy Evaluation Scale. Results: We found decreased functional connectivity between the left amygdala and the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) during negative stimuli in participants with MDD (t54 = 4.2; p = 0.035, family-wise error [FWE]–corrected). During high-attention stimuli, participants with MDD showed reduced functional connectivity between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the right ACC (t54 = 4.06, pFWE = 0.02), but greater functional connectivity between the right dlPFC and the right amygdala (t54 = 3.35, p = 0.048). Apathy was associated with increased functional connectivity between the right dlPFC and the right ACC during high-attention stimuli (t28 = 5.2, p = 0.01) and increased fractional anisotropy in the right posterior cerebellum, the anterior and posterior cingulum and the bilateral internal capsule (all pFWE < 0.05). Limitations: Limitations included a moderate sample size, concomitant antidepressant therapy and no directed connectivity. Conclusion: We found that MDD was associated with impairments in cortical–subcortical functional connectivity during negative stimuli that might alter the recruitment of networks engaged in attention. Apathy-related features suggested networks similar to those observed in degenerative disorders, but possible different mechanisms.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03220939
Contributor : Isabelle Corouge <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 7, 2021 - 3:40:08 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, May 30, 2021 - 3:06:18 AM

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Gabriel Robert, Elise Bannier, Magali Comte, Lea Domain, Isabelle Corouge, et al.. Multimodal brain imaging connectivity analyses of emotional and motivational deficits in depression among women. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Canadian Medical Association, 2021, 46 (2), pp.E303-E312. ⟨10.1503/jpn.200074⟩. ⟨inserm-03220939⟩

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