Indexed on: 05 Dec '09Published on: 05 Dec '09Published in: Psychiatry Research
The purpose of this study is to use voxel-based analysis to simultaneously elucidate regional changes in gray/white matter volume, mean diffusivity (MD), and fractional anisotropy (FA) in patients with unipolar major depressive disorder. We studied 21 right-handed patients and 42 age- and gender-matched right-handed normal subjects. Local areas showing significant gray matter volume reduction in depressive patients compared with controls were observed in the right parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, bilateral middle frontal gyri, bilateral anterior cingulate cortices, left parietal and occipital lobes, and right superior temporal gyrus. Local areas showing an increase of MD in depressive patients were observed in the bilateral parahippocampal gyri, hippocampus, pons, cerebellum, left frontal and temporal lobes, and right frontal lobe. There was no significant difference between the two groups for FA and white matter volume in the entire brain. Although there was no local area where brain volume and MD were significantly correlated with disease severity, FA tended to correlate negatively with total days depressed in the right anterior cingulate and the left frontal white matter. These results suggest that the frontolimbic neural circuit might play an important role in the neuropathology of patients with major depressive disorder.