Default mode network connectivity in children with a history of preschool onset depression

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.46). 04/2012; 53(9):964-72. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02552.x
Source: PubMed


Atypical Default Mode Network (DMN) functional connectivity has been previously reported in depressed adults. However, there is relatively little data informing the developmental nature of this phenomenon. The current case-control study examined the DMN in a unique prospective sample of school-age children with a previous history of preschool depression.
DMN functional connectivity was assessed using resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging data and the posterior cingulate (PCC) as a seed region of interest. Thirty-nine medication naïve school age children (21 with a history of preschool depression and 18 healthy peers) and their families who were ascertained as preschoolers and prospectively assessed over at least 4 annual waves as part of a federally funded study of preschool depression were included.
  Decreased connectivity between the PCC and regions within the middle temporal gyrus (MTG), inferior parietal lobule, and cerebellum was found in children with known depression during the preschool period. Increased connectivity between the PCC and regions within the subgenual and anterior cingulate cortices and anterior MTG bilaterally was also found in these children. Additionally, a clinically relevant 'brain-behavior' relationship between atypical functional connectivity of the PCC and disruptions in emotion regulation was identified.
To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the DMN in children known to have experienced the onset of a clinically significant depressive syndrome during preschool. Results suggest that a history of preschool depression is associated with atypical DMN connectivity. However, longitudinal studies are needed to clarify whether the current findings of atypical DMN connectivity are a precursor or a consequence of preschool depression.

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    • "Since rMDD patients are at a highly elevated lifetime risk for major depressive episodes (MDE) relative to HC participants (Kupfer, 1991), this suggests guiltrelated SCC decoupling may represent a trait vulnerability factor for MDD rather than a correlate of the depressed state. Additionally, although the literature on resting-state connectivity in depression vulnerability is limited, disrupted SCC connectivity has been observed in young rMDD patients (Gaffrey et al, 2012) and in at-risk adolescents (Herringa et al, 2013). The present study employed rsfMRI to investigate functional connectivity of the SCC in fully remitted, medication-free MDD patients with or without a history of melancholic MDEs. "
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    • "In summary, prior studies provide inconsistent reports of RSC among amygdala (Dickstein et al., 2010; Luking et al., 2011), striatal (Bluhm et al., 2009; Davey et al., 2012; Gabbay et al., 2013; Xiao et al., 2013), prefrontal cortical (Cao et al., 2006; Cullen et al., 2009; Dickstein et al., 2010; Davey et al., 2012; Sun et al., 2012; Wu et al., 2013), anterior cingulate cortical (Bluhm et al., 2009; Cullen et al., 2009; Davey et al., 2012; Gaffrey et al., 2012; Gabbay et al., 2013; Wu et al., 2013; Xiao et al., 2013), and insula (Wu et al., 2013) regions in behaviorally and emotionally dysregulated youth. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate for the first time the nature and extent of relationships between pathological dimensions and RSC versus relationships between diagnostic categories and RSC in a clinical cohort of youth with behavioral and emotional dysregulation. "
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    • "Furthermore, the variance in medication history among subjects could be a significant confounding factor (Wang, Hermens, Hickie, & and anxiety, in adults (Broyd et al., 2009; Sylvester et al., 2012). A recent RSFC study in children with preschool onset depression also found aberrancies in DMN connectivity, reporting decreased connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and temporal and parietal cortical areas as well as the cerebellum, and increased connectivity between the PCC and subgenual anterior cortical areas (Gaffrey et al., 2012). Studies investigating the developmental course of resting-state connectivity networks observed a change in connectivity patterns of these networks over time. "
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