The patterns of fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations in depression patients: the dissociation between temporal regions and fronto-parietal regions

Chien-Han Lai, Yu-Te Wu
Journal of Affective Disorders 2015 April 1, 175: 441-5

OBJECTIVE: This study surveyed the characteristics of the indicator for the fluctuations of default brain activity, fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF), in patients with pure major depressive disorder (MDD).

METHODS: Forty-four patients with MDD and 27 normal controls were enrolled in our study. All the participants received the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) scans, which were pre-processed by the REST toolbox (resting-state functional MRI data analysis toolbox). The group-related differences of the fALFF between patients and controls were explored by performing comparisons of the fALFF values obtained from rs-fMRI data. The fALFF outputs of patients and controls were compared with global brain volume, age and gender as covariates. In addition, the correlations between the clinical variables (such as depression severity, anxiety severity, illness duration) and fALFF values were also estimated in each group and across both groups.

RESULTS: The patients with MDD had significantly higher fALFF values than the controls, for the left temporal subgyral region. In the contrary, the patients had lower values of fALFF than controls, for the right frontal subcallosal gyrus and right parietal postcentral gyrus. In addition, the fALFF values were negatively correlated with the depression severity in the left temporal subgyral region.

CONCLUSION: MDD patients had dissociable alterations in the fALFF values of the fronto-parietal and temporal regions. The pattern of fALFF alterations might be unique for depression patients with later onset-age of young adult phase.

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