Resting-State Quantitative Electroencephalography Reveals Increased Neurophysiologic Connectivity in Depression

Laboratory of Brain, Behavior, and Pharmacology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2012; 7(2):e32508. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032508
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are hypothesized to arise from dysfunction in brain networks linking the limbic system and cortical regions. Alterations in brain functional cortical connectivity in resting-state networks have been detected with functional imaging techniques, but neurophysiologic connectivity measures have not been systematically examined. We used weighted network analysis to examine resting state functional connectivity as measured by quantitative electroencephalographic (qEEG) coherence in 121 unmedicated subjects with MDD and 37 healthy controls. Subjects with MDD had significantly higher overall coherence as compared to controls in the delta (0.5-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8-12 Hz), and beta (12-20 Hz) frequency bands. The frontopolar region contained the greatest number of "hub nodes" (surface recording locations) with high connectivity. MDD subjects expressed higher theta and alpha coherence primarily in longer distance connections between frontopolar and temporal or parietooccipital regions, and higher beta coherence primarily in connections within and between electrodes overlying the dorsolateral prefrontal cortical (DLPFC) or temporal regions. Nearest centroid analysis indicated that MDD subjects were best characterized by six alpha band connections primarily involving the prefrontal region. The present findings indicate a loss of selectivity in resting functional connectivity in MDD. The overall greater coherence observed in depressed subjects establishes a new context for the interpretation of previous studies showing differences in frontal alpha power and synchrony between subjects with MDD and normal controls. These results can inform the development of qEEG state and trait biomarkers for MDD.

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