A novel resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging signature of resilience to recurrent depression

  • C. I. Workman, K. E. Lythe, S. McKie, J. Moll, J. A. Gethin, J. F. W. Deakin, R. Elliott, R. Zahn
  • Psychological Medicine, November 2016, Cambridge University Press
  • DOI: 10.1017/s0033291716002567

What is it about?

People with a history of depression are more likely to experience periods of depression in the future. Several studies have reported that a brain region called the "subgenual cingulate cortex" is abnormally connected to the resting brain in patients with current depression. It's unknown, however, whether connectivity to this brain region can tell us whether patients who aren't currently depressed are more or less likely to develop additional periods of depression in the future. The current study measured connectivity of the subgenual cingulate cortex to other parts of the resting brain in healthy volunteers and in patients with a history of depression who weren't depressed at the time their brains were scanned. We found lower connectivity between the left and right subgenual cingulate cortices in patients who did not develop a depressive episode over a 14 month follow up period, or "resilient" patients, compared to patients who became depressed and to healthy volunteers.

Why is it important?

To our knowledge, this is the first resting-state fMRI signature of resilience to recurrence in patients who are remitted from the depressed state.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Clifford Ian Workman and Dr Roland Zahn