Resting state brain network function in major depression – Depression symptomatology, antidepressant treatment effects, future research

Brakowski, Janis; Spinelli, Simona; Dörig, Nadja; Bosch, Oliver Gero; Manoliu, Andrei; Grosse Holtforth, Martin; Seifritz, Erich (2017). Resting state brain network function in major depression – Depression symptomatology, antidepressant treatment effects, future research. Journal of psychiatric research, 92, pp. 147-159. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.04.007

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The alterations of functional connectivity brain networks in major depressive disorder (MDD) have been subject of a large number of studies. Using different methodologies and focusing on diverse aspects of the disease, research shows heterogeneous results lacking integration. Disrupted network connectivity has been found in core MDD networks like the default mode network (DMN), the central executive network (CEN), and the salience network, but also in cerebellar and thalamic circuitries. Here we review literature published on resting state brain network function in MDD focusing on methodology, and clinical characteristics including symptomatology and antidepressant treatment related findings. There are relatively few investigations concerning the qualitative aspects of symptomatology of MDD, whereas most studies associate quantitative aspects with distinct resting state functional connectivity alterations. Such depression severity associated alterations are found in the DMN, frontal, cerebellar and thalamic brain regions as well as the insula and the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex. Similarly, different therapeutical options in MDD and their effects on brain function showed patchy results. Herein, phar- maceutical treatments reveal functional connectivity alterations throughout multiple brain regions notably the DMN, fronto-limbic, and parieto-temporal regions. Psychotherapeutical interventions show significant functional connectivity alterations in fronto-limbic networks, whereas electroconvulsive therapy and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation result in alterations of the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, the DMN, the CEN and the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. While it appears clear that functional connectivity alterations are associated with the pathophysiology and treatment of MDD, future research should also generate a common strategy for data acquisition and analysis, as a least common denominator, to set the basis for comparability across studies and implementation of functional connectivity as a scientifically and clinically useful biomarker.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology > Centre of Competence for Psychosomatic Medicine
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

grosse Holtforth, Martin


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology








Salome Irina Rahel Bötschi

Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2017 12:52

Last Modified:

24 Apr 2018 14:33

Publisher DOI:


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