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Little is known about the neural substrates of suicide risk in mood disorders. Improving the identification of biomarkers of suicide risk, as indicated by a history of suicide-related behavior (SB), could lead to more targeted treatments to reduce risk.
Participants were 18 young adults with a mood disorder with a history of SB (as indicated by endorsing a past suicide attempt), 60 with a mood disorder with a history of suicidal ideation (SI) but not SB, 52 with a mood disorder with no history of SI or SB (MD), and 82 healthy comparison participants (HC). Resting-state functional connectivity within and between intrinsic neural networks, including cognitive control network (CCN), salience and emotion network (SEN), and default mode network (DMN), was compared between groups.
Several fronto-parietal regions (k > 57, p < 0.005) were identified in which individuals with SB demonstrated distinct patterns of connectivity within (in the CCN) and across networks (CCN-SEN and CCN-DMN). Connectivity with some of these same regions also distinguished the SB group when participants were re-scanned after 1–4 months. Extracted data defined SB group membership with good accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity (79–88%).
These results suggest that individuals with a history of SB in the context of mood disorders may show reliably distinct patterns of intrinsic network connectivity, even when compared to those with mood disorders without SB. Resting-state fMRI is a promising tool for identifying subtypes of patients with mood disorders who may be at risk for suicidal behavior.
Reappraisal, an adaptive emotion regulation strategy, is associated with frontal engagement. In internalizing psychopathologies (IPs) such as anxiety and depression frontal activity is atypically reduced suggesting impaired regulation capacity. Yet, successful reappraisal is often demonstrated at the behavioral level. A data-driven approach was used to clarify brain and behavioral relationships in IPs.
During functional magnetic resonance imaging, anxious [general anxiety disorder (n = 43), social anxiety disorder (n = 72)] and depressed (n = 47) patients reappraised negative images to reduce negative affect (‘ReappNeg’) and viewed negative images (‘LookNeg’). After each trial, the affective state was reported. A cut-point (i.e. values <0 based on ΔReappNeg-LookNeg) demarcated successful reappraisers. Neural activity for ReappNeg-LookNeg, derived from 37 regions of interest, was submitted to Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to identify unique components of reappraisal-related brain response. PCA factors, symptom severity, and self-reported habitual reappraisal were submitted to discriminant function analysis and linear regression to examine whether these data predicted successful reappraisal (yes/no) and variance in reappraisal ability.
Most patients (63%) were successful reappraisers according to the behavioral criterion (values<0; ΔReappNeg-LookNeg). Discriminant function analysis was not significant for PCA factors, symptoms, or habitual reappraisal. For regression, more activation in a factor with high loadings for frontal regions predicted better reappraisal facility. Results were not significant for other variables.
At the individual level, more activation in a ‘frontal’ factor corresponded with better reappraisal facility. However, neither brain nor behavioral variables classified successful reappraisal (yes/no). Findings suggest individual differences in regions strongly implicated in reappraisal play a role in on-line reappraisal capability.
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