Disease severity is correlated to tract specific changes of fractional anisotropy in MD and CM thalamus - A DTI study in major depressive disorder

  • Osoba A
  • Hänggi J
  • Li M
 et al. 
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Background: Depression is commonly conceptualized as corticolimbic dysregulation. Due to insufficient studies in normal aged populations especially subcortical sources of disconnection are unclear in contrast to potentially general parietal white matter (WM) deficits. This may be due to important influences of variable patient characteristics, most importantly episode severity. Especially thalamic disconnections have been functionally revealed, however, their structural correlates have not been distinctly investigated for its highly diverse subnuclei. Methods: We compared 20 major depressive disorder (MDD) patients with mixed Hamilton depression rating scale (HAMD) severity to matched controls in fractional anisotropy (FA) derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Robust acquisition of 4 repetitions restricted to twelve directions, also to match the same parameters used by Eckert et al. (2011) who described a preferential architecture of centromedian (CM) and mediodorsal (MD) thalamic connections. Second to whole brain analysis, we tested for group differences within the preferred structural network of these two nuclei using a tract of interest (TOI) approach. Results: Significant FA deficits in a whole brain analysis were only found in right parietal WM (p

Author-supplied keywords

  • Corticolimbic networks
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Disease severity
  • Major depression
  • Structural connectivity
  • Thalamic nuclei

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  • Annemarie Osoba

  • Jürgen Hänggi

  • Meng Li

  • Dorothea I. Horn

  • Coraline Metzger

  • Ulf Eckert

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