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Limbic white matter microstructure plasticity reflects recovery from depression

Bracht, Tobias, Jones, Derek K., Müller, Thomas J., Wiest, Roland and Walther, Sebastian 2015. Limbic white matter microstructure plasticity reflects recovery from depression. Journal of Affective Disorders 170 , pp. 143-149. 10.1016/j.jad.2014.08.031

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Background: White matter microstructure alterations of limbic and reward pathways have been reported repeatedly for depressive episodes in major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD). However, findings during remission are equivocal. It was the aim of this study to investigate if white matter microstructure changes during the time course of clinical remission. Methods: Fifteen depressed patients (11 MDD, 4 BD) underwent diffusion-weighted MRI both during depression, and during remission following successful antidepressive treatment (average time interval between scans=6 months). Fractional anisotropy (FA) was sampled along reconstructions of the supero-lateral medial forebrain bundle (slMFB), the cingulum bundle (CB), the uncinate fasciculus (UF), the parahippocampal cingulum (PHC) and the fornix. Repeated measures ANCOVAs controlling for the effect of age were calculated for each tract. Results: There was a significant main effect of time (inter-scan interval) for mean-FA for the right CB and for the left PHC. For both pathways there was a significant time×age interaction. In the right CB, FA increased in younger patients, while FA decreased in older patients. In the left PHC, a reverse pattern was seen. FA changes in the right CB correlated positively with symptom reductions. Mean-FA of UF, slMFB and fornix did not change between the two time points. Limitations: All patients were medicated, sample size, and lack of control group.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Major depressive disorder; Bipolar disorder; Remission; Reward system; Neuroplasticity; Diffusion tensor imaging
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-0327
Date of Acceptance: 22 August 2014
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2018 20:33

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