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Marked reductions in visual evoked responses but not y-aminobutyric acid concentrations or y-band measures in remitted depression

Shaw, Alexander, Brealy, Jennifer, Richardson, Heather, Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh Daniel, Edden, Richard A., Evans, Christopher John, Puts, Nicolaas, Singh, Krish Devi and Keedwell, Paul Anthony 2013. Marked reductions in visual evoked responses but not y-aminobutyric acid concentrations or y-band measures in remitted depression. Biological Psychiatry 73 (7) , pp. 691-698. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.09.032

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Background: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies have consistently demonstrated reduced cortical γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) concentrations in individuals with major depression. However, evidence for a persistent deficit during remission, which would suggest that GABA dysfunction is a possible trait marker of depression, is equivocal. Although MRS measures total concentration of GABA, magneto-encephalography provides direct measures of neural activity, with cortical γ oscillations shaped by the activity of GABAergic inhibitory interneurons. In this study we investigated whether γ oscillations and GABA concentrations would differ in individuals with remitted depression (RD) compared with never depressed control subjects (ND). Methods: Thirty-seven healthy, unmedicated female volunteers (n = 19 RD, and n = 18 ND) were recruited. The γ oscillation frequencies and amplitudes in the visual cortex, induced by simple grating stimuli, were quantified with time-frequency analyses. Distinct GABA/glutamate + glutamine MRS peaks were resolved from MEGA-PRESS difference spectra in prefrontal, occipital, and subcortical volumes. Results: The RD and ND individuals did not differ in the frequency of subclinical depressive symptoms. The ND were slightly older (mean = 23 years vs. 21 years), but age did not correlate with dependent measures. There were no group differences in GABA levels or induced cortical γ measures, but RD individuals had markedly reduced M80 (C1) components of the pattern-onset evoked response (46% reduction, Cohen’s d = 1.01, p = .006). Conclusions: Both MRS and magneto-encephalography measures of the GABA system are normal in RD. However, the early visual evoked response is a potential trait marker of the disorder.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biomarker; C1; depression; GABA; γ; MEG; MRS; neuroimaging; trait; visual evoked response
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0006-3223
Funders: Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 14:24

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