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BMC Psychiatry

, 16:38

Mood disorders


BackgroundMajor depressive disorder MDD is a multifaceted illness involving cognitive, emotional, and structural brain changes; illness onset typically occurs in adolescence or young adulthood. Cortical thickness modulations may underlie, or accompany, functional brain activity changes in the prefrontal cortex PFC during emotional processing that tend to be observed in MDD.

MethodsThirteen unmedicated young adults with mild to moderate MDD, aged 18–24, completed a facial expression Go-No Go task and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging MRI scan to assess cortical thickness. Cortical thickness and performance on the Go-No Go task was also assessed in age-matched healthy comparison subjects HCs; N = 14.

ResultsParticipants with depression had thicker left pars opercularis cortices than HCs. They also exhibited impaired response inhibition to neutral faces when responding only to sad faces, and a faster response time overall.

ConclusionsThough our sample size is limited, this pilot study nevertheless provides evidence for cortical thickening in left frontal brain regions in a non-severely depressed, young adult group compared to healthy controls. There was also evidence of disturbances in emotion processing in this group.

KeywordsMajor depressive disorder Cortical thickness Emotion processing Adolescents-young adults AbbreviationsDLPFCdorsolateral prefrontal cortex


FAfalse alarm

FOVfield of view

HAMD17hamilton rating scale for depression 17-item version

HChealthy control

MDDmajor depressive disorder

MDEmajor depressive episode

MINIMini International Neuropsychiatric Interview

MRImagnetic resonance imaging

PFCprefrontal cortex

rmANOVArepeated measures analysis of variance

RTresponse time

rTMSrepetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

SPSSstatistical Package for the Social Sciences

TEtime to echo

TRrepetition time

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Autor: Bernice A. Fonseka - Natalia Jaworska - Allegra Courtright - Frank P. MacMaster - Glenda M. MacQueen


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