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Published Online: 16 December 2012

Reduced Cerebral Blood Flow Within the Default-Mode Network and Within Total Gray Matter in Major Depression

Publication: Brain Connectivity
Volume 2, Issue Number 6

Abstract

The default-mode network (DMN) was shown to have aberrant blood oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) activity in major depressive disorder (MDD). While BOLD is a relative measure of neural activity, cerebral blood flow (CBF) is an absolute measure. Resting-state CBF alterations have been reported in MDD. However, the association of baseline CBF and CBF fluctuations is unclear in MDD. Therefore, the aim was to investigate the CBF within the DMN in MDD, applying a strictly data-driven approach. In 22 MDD patients and 22 matched healthy controls, CBF was acquired using arterial spin labeling (ASL) at rest. A concatenated independent component analysis was performed to identify the DMN within the ASL data. The perfusion of the DMN and its nodes was quantified and compared between groups. The DMN was identified in both groups with high spatial similarity. Absolute CBF values within the DMN were reduced in MDD patients (p<0.001). However, after controlling for whole-brain gray matter CBF and age, the group difference vanished. In patients, depression severity was correlated with reduced perfusion in the DMN in the posterior cingulate cortex and the right inferior parietal lobe. Hypoperfusion within the DMN in MDD is not specific to the DMN. Still, depression severity was linked to DMN node perfusion, supporting a role of the DMN in depression pathobiology. The finding has implications for the interpretation of BOLD functional magnetic resonance imaging data in MDD.

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cover image Brain Connectivity
Brain Connectivity
Volume 2Issue Number 62012
Pages: 303 - 310
PubMed: 22928766

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Published online: 16 December 2012
Published in print: 2012
Published ahead of print: 26 September 2012
Published ahead of production: 28 August 2012

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Ariane Orosz
*
Department of Psychiatric Neurophysiology, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.
Kay Jann*
Department of Psychiatric Neurophysiology, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.
Andrea Federspiel
Department of Psychiatric Neurophysiology, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.
Helge Horn
University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.
Oliver Höfle
University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.
Thomas Dierks
Department of Psychiatric Neurophysiology, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.
Roland Wiest
Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Werner Strik
University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.
Thomas Müller
University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.
Sebastian Walther
University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland.

Notes

Address correspondence to:Sebastian WaltherUniversity Hospital of PsychiatryBolligenstrasse 1113000 Bern 60Switzerland
E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No conflicts of interest exist with this work.

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