Subcortical Biophysical Abnormalities in Patients with Mood Disorders

Charlton, Rebecca A. 2014. Subcortical Biophysical Abnormalities in Patients with Mood Disorders. Molecular Psychiatry, 19, pp. 710-716. ISSN 1359-4184 [Article]

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Cortical-subcortical circuits have been implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. Structural and biochemical abnormalities have been identified in patients diagnosed with mood disorders using magnetic resonance imaging-related approaches. In this study, we used magnetization transfer (MT), an innovative magnetic resonance approach, to study biophysical changes in both gray and white matter regions in cortical-subcortical circuits implicated in emotional regulation and behavior. Our study samples comprised 28 patients clinically diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 31 non-depressed subjects of comparable age and gender. MT ratio (MTR), representing the biophysical integrity of macromolecular proteins within key components of cortical-subcortical circuits-the caudate, thalamic, striatal, orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate and dorsolateral regions-was the primary outcome measure. In our study, the MTR in the head of the right caudate nucleus was significantly lower in the MDD group when compared with the comparison group. MTR values showed an inverse relationship with age in both groups, with more widespread relationships observed in the MDD group. These data indicate that focal biophysical abnormalities in the caudate nucleus may be central to the pathophysiology of depression and critical to the cortical-subcortical abnormalities that underlie mood disorders. Depression may also accentuate age-related changes in the biophysical properties of cortical and subcortical regions. These observations have broad implications for the neuronal circuitry underlying mood disorders across the lifespan

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June 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2013 08:30

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 14:11

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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