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Neural correlates of three promising endophenotypes of depression: evidence from the EMBARC study


Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is clinically, and likely pathophysiologically, heterogeneous. A potentially fruitful approach to parsing this heterogeneity is to focus on promising endophenotypes. Guided by the NIMH Research Domain Criteria initiative, we used source localization of scalp-recorded EEG resting data to examine the neural correlates of three emerging endophenotypes of depression:
neuroticism, blunted reward learning, and cognitive control deficits. Data were drawn from the ongoing multi-site EMBARC study. We estimated intracranial current density for standard EEG frequency bands in 82 unmedicated adults with MDD, using Low-Resolution Brain Electromagnetic Tomography. Region-of-interest and whole-brain analyses tested associations between resting state EEG current density and endophenotypes of interest. Neuroticism was associated with increased resting gamma (36.5–44 Hz) current density in the ventral (subgenual) anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). In contrast, reduced cognitive control correlated with decreased gamma activity in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), decreased theta (6.5–8 Hz) and alpha2 (10.5–12 Hz) activity in the dorsal ACC, and increased alpha2 activity in the right dlPFC. Finally, blunted reward learning correlated with lower OFC and left dlPFC gamma activity. Computational modeling of trial-by-trial reinforcement learning further indicated that lower OFC gamma activity was linked to reduced reward sensitivity. Three putative endophenotypes of depression were found to have partially dissociable resting intracranial EEG correlates, reflecting different underlying neural dysfunctions. Overall, these findings
highlight the need to parse the heterogeneity of MDD by focusing on promising endophenotypes linked to specific pathophysiological abnormalities.

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is clinically, and likely pathophysiologically, heterogeneous. A potentially fruitful approach to parsing this heterogeneity is to focus on promising endophenotypes. Guided by the NIMH Research Domain Criteria initiative, we used source localization of scalp-recorded EEG resting data to examine the neural correlates of three emerging endophenotypes of depression:
neuroticism, blunted reward learning, and cognitive control deficits. Data were drawn from the ongoing multi-site EMBARC study. We estimated intracranial current density for standard EEG frequency bands in 82 unmedicated adults with MDD, using Low-Resolution Brain Electromagnetic Tomography. Region-of-interest and whole-brain analyses tested associations between resting state EEG current density and endophenotypes of interest. Neuroticism was associated with increased resting gamma (36.5–44 Hz) current density in the ventral (subgenual) anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). In contrast, reduced cognitive control correlated with decreased gamma activity in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), decreased theta (6.5–8 Hz) and alpha2 (10.5–12 Hz) activity in the dorsal ACC, and increased alpha2 activity in the right dlPFC. Finally, blunted reward learning correlated with lower OFC and left dlPFC gamma activity. Computational modeling of trial-by-trial reinforcement learning further indicated that lower OFC gamma activity was linked to reduced reward sensitivity. Three putative endophenotypes of depression were found to have partially dissociable resting intracranial EEG correlates, reflecting different underlying neural dysfunctions. Overall, these findings
highlight the need to parse the heterogeneity of MDD by focusing on promising endophenotypes linked to specific pathophysiological abnormalities.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:05 Feb 2016 09:56
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:01
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0893-133X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2015.165
PubMed ID:26068725

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