Association between resting state functional connectivity and major depressive disorder

Satyajit Mohite, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Introduction: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a cluster of symptoms, primarily diagnosed with depressed mood and loss of interest in daily activities, Globally, MDD is 4th leading cause of disability. Resting State Functional Connectivity (RSFC) uses blood oxygen level dependent signals to assess the connectivity between target brain regions, when subject is not doing any active task. Previous studies have found the important association of lateral Habenula with MDD. This study was aimed to evaluate the RSFC of Habenula with a few target areas and to assess the correlation between individual diagnostic symptoms of MDD. Methods: The data of the sample population is pulled from the parent study from Baylor School of Medicine, Houston, Texas. Case-control Study design was used. Controls were selected from the psychiatric population in the same setting. Depression scales (PHQ-9, SCID) were used to assess the severity of MDD symptoms and seed based RSFC analysis used for imaging data. CONN extension of MATLAB was used for imaging analysis and correlational coefficients. STATA and Microsoft Excel analysis software used for t-test and regression analysis. Using the evidence from literature, target areas selected to compare with lateral habenula were striatum, putamen, caudate nucleus, nucleus accumbens, raphe nucleus, paracentral lobule and locus coeruleus. SCID questionnaire was used to assess the individuality of the diagnostic symptoms and their mutual correlations. Results: Cases (n=139, 44.84%, age 30.65 ± 11.84 years) were compared to controls (n=171, 55.16 %, age=30.83 ± 12.65 years). Left and right sided habenula were found significantly connected (p< 0.05) to Putamen, striatum, caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens, even after analyzing for left and right sides of these target areas in addition to analyzing them as a whole structure. Significant correlation was found between clinical symptoms (p< 0.05). Conclusion: The functional connectivity of lateral habenula with target areas was validated though the findings of this study. Positive correlation between multiple diagnostic symptoms could further help to categorize MDD for categorized management plans in future. Valid sample size, use of clinical and imaging data together, and psychiatry controls makes this study noteworthy.

Subject Area

Mental health|Public health|Medical imaging

Recommended Citation

Mohite, Satyajit, "Association between resting state functional connectivity and major depressive disorder" (2015). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10109681.