White matter microstructure alterations of the medial forebrain bundle in melancholic depression

Bracht, Tobias; Horn, Helge Joachim; Strik, Werner; Federspiel, Andrea; Schnell, Susanne; Höfle, Oliver Karl Christofer; Stegmayer, Katharina; Wiest, Roland; Dierks, Thomas; Müller, Thomas Jörg; Walther, Sebastian (2014). White matter microstructure alterations of the medial forebrain bundle in melancholic depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 155, pp. 186-193. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jad.2013.10.048

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BACKGROUND The medial forebrain bundle (MFB) is a key structure of the reward system and connects the ventral tegmental area (VTA) with the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC, lOFC) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). Previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies in major depressive disorder point to white matter alterations of regions which may be incorporated in the MFB. Therefore, it was the aim of our study to probe white matter integrity of the MFB using a DTI-based probabilistic fibre tracking approach. METHODS 22 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) (12 melancholic-MDD patients, 10 non-melancholic-MDD patients) and 21 healthy controls underwent DTI scans. We used a bilateral probabilistic fibre tracking approach to extract pathways between the VTA and NACC, mOFC, lOFC, dlPFC respectively. Mean fractional anisotropy (FA) values were used to compare structural connectivity between groups. RESULTS Mean-FA did not differ between healthy controls and all MDD patients. Compared to healthy controls melancholic MDD-patients had reduced mean-FA in right VTA-lOFC and VTA-dlPFC connections. Furthermore, melancholic-MDD patients had lower mean-FA than non-melancholic MDD-patients in the right VTA-lOFC connection. Mean-FA of these pathways correlated negatively with depression scale rating scores. LIMITATIONS Due to the small sample size and heterogeneous age group comparisons between melancholic and non-melancholic MDD-patients should be regarded as preliminary. CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that the melancholic subtype of MDD is characterized by white matter microstructure alterations of the MFB. White matter microstructure is associated with both depression severity and anhedonia.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology (discontinued)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Management
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > UPD Murtenstrasse

UniBE Contributor:

Bracht, Tobias; Horn, Helge Joachim; Strik, Werner; Federspiel, Andrea; Höfle, Oliver Karl Christofer; Stegmayer, Katharina; Wiest, Roland; Dierks, Thomas; Müller, Thomas Jörg and Walther, Sebastian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

0165-0327

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sebastian Walther

Date Deposited:

17 Jan 2014 10:13

Last Modified:

01 Dec 2017 11:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jad.2013.10.048

PubMed ID:

24252169

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Anhedonia; Diffusion tensor imaging; Mood disorder; Structural imaging

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.39927

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/39927

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