White matter microstructure relates to lassitude but not diagnosis in adolescents with depression

Kathryn R Cullen, Roland Brown, Melinda Westlund Schreiner, Lynn E Eberly, Bonnie Klimes-Dougan, Kristina M Reigstad, Dawson Hill, Kelvin O Lim, Bryon A Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The neurobiology of adolescent depression remains poorly understood. Initial studies suggested impaired white matter microstructure in adults and adolescents, but findings have not been consistent. Challenges in this literature have included small samples, medication confounds and inconsistent correction for type I error. This study addressed these issues in a new examination of fractional anisotropy (FA) in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) using diffusion tensor imaging. We examined FA in 81 adolescents aged 12–19 (44 MDD [all unmedicated], 37 controls). We conducted logistic regression analyses to examine the odds of MDD versus control based on FA within standard white matter tracts that were delineated by probabilistic tractography. We also examined relationships between FA and disease severity (overall depression and dimensions of illness). Finally, we conducted a voxel-wise group comparison of FA. All analyses covaried for age, sex and socioeconomic status, and applied rigorous corrections for multiple testing. Logistic regression did not reveal significant associations between diagnosis and FA within white matter tracts defined by probabilistic tractography. Dimensional analyses revealed that greater lassitude was associated with higher FA in right cingulum bundle and bilateral corticospinal tracts, but with lower FA in right anterior thalamic radiation. Voxel-wise group comparisons of FA did not reveal significant group differences. The current findings do not support low FA as a neurobiological marker of adolescent depression. Dimensional results suggest that FA relates to lassitude but not overall depression. Given the clinical and neurobiological heterogeneity of depression, future work utilizing dimensional approaches may help elucidate the role of white matter microstructure in adolescent depression neurobiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Anisotropy
Fatigue
Depression
Major Depressive Disorder
Neurobiology
White Matter
Logistic Models
Pyramidal Tracts
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Social Class
Regression Analysis
Radiation

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Depression
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • White matter

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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title = "White matter microstructure relates to lassitude but not diagnosis in adolescents with depression",
abstract = "The neurobiology of adolescent depression remains poorly understood. Initial studies suggested impaired white matter microstructure in adults and adolescents, but findings have not been consistent. Challenges in this literature have included small samples, medication confounds and inconsistent correction for type I error. This study addressed these issues in a new examination of fractional anisotropy (FA) in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) using diffusion tensor imaging. We examined FA in 81 adolescents aged 12–19 (44 MDD [all unmedicated], 37 controls). We conducted logistic regression analyses to examine the odds of MDD versus control based on FA within standard white matter tracts that were delineated by probabilistic tractography. We also examined relationships between FA and disease severity (overall depression and dimensions of illness). Finally, we conducted a voxel-wise group comparison of FA. All analyses covaried for age, sex and socioeconomic status, and applied rigorous corrections for multiple testing. Logistic regression did not reveal significant associations between diagnosis and FA within white matter tracts defined by probabilistic tractography. Dimensional analyses revealed that greater lassitude was associated with higher FA in right cingulum bundle and bilateral corticospinal tracts, but with lower FA in right anterior thalamic radiation. Voxel-wise group comparisons of FA did not reveal significant group differences. The current findings do not support low FA as a neurobiological marker of adolescent depression. Dimensional results suggest that FA relates to lassitude but not overall depression. Given the clinical and neurobiological heterogeneity of depression, future work utilizing dimensional approaches may help elucidate the role of white matter microstructure in adolescent depression neurobiology.",
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author = "Cullen, {Kathryn R} and Roland Brown and Schreiner, {Melinda Westlund} and Eberly, {Lynn E} and Bonnie Klimes-Dougan and Reigstad, {Kristina M} and Dawson Hill and Lim, {Kelvin O} and Mueller, {Bryon A}",
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AU - Cullen, Kathryn R

AU - Brown, Roland

AU - Schreiner, Melinda Westlund

AU - Eberly, Lynn E

AU - Klimes-Dougan, Bonnie

AU - Reigstad, Kristina M

AU - Hill, Dawson

AU - Lim, Kelvin O

AU - Mueller, Bryon A

PY - 2019/1/1

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N2 - The neurobiology of adolescent depression remains poorly understood. Initial studies suggested impaired white matter microstructure in adults and adolescents, but findings have not been consistent. Challenges in this literature have included small samples, medication confounds and inconsistent correction for type I error. This study addressed these issues in a new examination of fractional anisotropy (FA) in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) using diffusion tensor imaging. We examined FA in 81 adolescents aged 12–19 (44 MDD [all unmedicated], 37 controls). We conducted logistic regression analyses to examine the odds of MDD versus control based on FA within standard white matter tracts that were delineated by probabilistic tractography. We also examined relationships between FA and disease severity (overall depression and dimensions of illness). Finally, we conducted a voxel-wise group comparison of FA. All analyses covaried for age, sex and socioeconomic status, and applied rigorous corrections for multiple testing. Logistic regression did not reveal significant associations between diagnosis and FA within white matter tracts defined by probabilistic tractography. Dimensional analyses revealed that greater lassitude was associated with higher FA in right cingulum bundle and bilateral corticospinal tracts, but with lower FA in right anterior thalamic radiation. Voxel-wise group comparisons of FA did not reveal significant group differences. The current findings do not support low FA as a neurobiological marker of adolescent depression. Dimensional results suggest that FA relates to lassitude but not overall depression. Given the clinical and neurobiological heterogeneity of depression, future work utilizing dimensional approaches may help elucidate the role of white matter microstructure in adolescent depression neurobiology.

AB - The neurobiology of adolescent depression remains poorly understood. Initial studies suggested impaired white matter microstructure in adults and adolescents, but findings have not been consistent. Challenges in this literature have included small samples, medication confounds and inconsistent correction for type I error. This study addressed these issues in a new examination of fractional anisotropy (FA) in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) using diffusion tensor imaging. We examined FA in 81 adolescents aged 12–19 (44 MDD [all unmedicated], 37 controls). We conducted logistic regression analyses to examine the odds of MDD versus control based on FA within standard white matter tracts that were delineated by probabilistic tractography. We also examined relationships between FA and disease severity (overall depression and dimensions of illness). Finally, we conducted a voxel-wise group comparison of FA. All analyses covaried for age, sex and socioeconomic status, and applied rigorous corrections for multiple testing. Logistic regression did not reveal significant associations between diagnosis and FA within white matter tracts defined by probabilistic tractography. Dimensional analyses revealed that greater lassitude was associated with higher FA in right cingulum bundle and bilateral corticospinal tracts, but with lower FA in right anterior thalamic radiation. Voxel-wise group comparisons of FA did not reveal significant group differences. The current findings do not support low FA as a neurobiological marker of adolescent depression. Dimensional results suggest that FA relates to lassitude but not overall depression. Given the clinical and neurobiological heterogeneity of depression, future work utilizing dimensional approaches may help elucidate the role of white matter microstructure in adolescent depression neurobiology.

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