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Although ketamine can rapidly decrease suicidal ideation (SI), its neurobiological mechanism of action remains unclear. Several areas of the cingulate cortex have been implicated in SI; therefore, we aimed to explore the neural correlates of the anti-suicidal effect of ketamine with cingulate cortex functional connectivity (FC) in depression.
Forty patients with unipolar or bipolar depression with SI underwent six infusions of ketamine over 2 weeks. Clinical symptoms and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were obtained at baseline and on day 13. Remitters were defined as those with complete remission of SI on day 13. Four pairs of cingulate cortex subregions were selected: the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC), pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC), anterior mid-cingulate cortex (aMCC), and posterior mid-cingulate cortex (pMCC), and whole-brain FC for each seed region was calculated.
Compared with non-remitters, remitters exhibited increased FC of the right pgACC–left middle occipital gyrus (MOG) and right aMCC–bilateral postcentral gyrus at baseline. A high area under the curve (0.91) indicated good accuracy of the combination of the above between-group differential FCs as a predictor of anti-suicidal effect. Moreover, the change of SI after ketamine infusion was positively correlated with altered right pgACC–left MOG FC in remitters (r = 0.66, p = 0.001).
Our findings suggest that the FC of some cingulate cortex subregions can predict the anti-suicidal effect of ketamine and that the anti-suicidal mechanism of action of ketamine may involve alteration of FC between the right pgACC and left MOG.
Slowed information processing speed (IPS) is the core contributor to cognitive impairment in patients with late-life depression (LLD). The hippocampus is an important link between depression and dementia, and it may be involved in IPS slowing in LLD. However, the relationship between a slowed IPS and the dynamic activity and connectivity of hippocampal subregions in patients with LLD remains unclear.
One hundred thirty-four patients with LLD and 89 healthy controls were recruited. Sliding-window analysis was used to assess whole-brain dynamic functional connectivity (dFC), dynamic fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (dfALFF) and dynamic regional homogeneity (dReHo) for each hippocampal subregion seed.
Cognitive impairment (global cognition, verbal memory, language, visual–spatial skill, executive function and working memory) in patients with LLD was mediated by their slowed IPS. Compared with the controls, patients with LLD exhibited decreased dFC between various hippocampal subregions and the frontal cortex and decreased dReho in the left rostral hippocampus. Additionally, most of the dFCs were negatively associated with the severity of depressive symptoms and were positively associated with various domains of cognitive function. Moreover, the dFC between the left rostral hippocampus and middle frontal gyrus exhibited a partial mediation effect on the relationships between the scores of depressive symptoms and IPS.
Patients with LLD exhibited decreased dFC between the hippocampus and frontal cortex, and the decreased dFC between the left rostral hippocampus and right middle frontal gyrus was involved in the underlying neural substrate of the slowed IPS.
Previous analyses of grey and white matter volumes have reported that schizophrenia is associated with structural changes. Deep learning is a data-driven approach that can capture highly compact hierarchical non-linear relationships among high-dimensional features, and therefore can facilitate the development of clinical tools for making a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of schizophrenia.
To identify consistent grey matter abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, 662 people with schizophrenia and 613 healthy controls were recruited from eight centres across China, and the data from these independent sites were used to validate deep-learning classifiers.
We used a prospective image-based meta-analysis of whole-brain voxel-based morphometry. We also automatically differentiated patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls using combined grey matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid volumetric features, incorporated a deep neural network approach on an individual basis, and tested the generalisability of the classification models using independent validation sites.
We found that statistically reliable schizophrenia-related grey matter abnormalities primarily occurred in regions that included the superior temporal gyrus extending to the temporal pole, insular cortex, orbital and middle frontal cortices, middle cingulum and thalamus. Evaluated using leave-one-site-out cross-validation, the performance of the classification of schizophrenia achieved by our findings from eight independent research sites were: accuracy, 77.19–85.74%; sensitivity, 75.31–89.29% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.797–0.909.
These results suggest that, by using deep-learning techniques, multidimensional neuroanatomical changes in schizophrenia are capable of robustly discriminating patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls, findings which could facilitate clinical diagnosis and treatment in schizophrenia.
Compulsive behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been related to impairment within the associative cortical-striatal system connecting the caudate and prefrontal cortex that underlies consciously-controlled goal-directed learning and behavior. However, little is known whether this impairment may serve as a biomarker for vulnerability to OCD.
Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we employed Granger causality analysis (GCA) to measure effective connectivity (EC) in previously validated striatal sub-regions, including the caudate, putamen, and the nucleus accumbens, in 35 OCD patients, 35 unaffected first-degree relatives and 35 matched healthy controls.
Both OCD patients and their first-degree relatives showed greater EC than controls between the left caudate and the orbital frontal cortex (OFC). Both OCD patients and their first-degree relatives showed lower EC than controls between the left caudate and lateral prefrontal cortex. These results are consistent with findings from task-related fMRI studies which found impairment in the goal-directed system in OCD patients.
The same changes in EC were present in both OCD patients and their unaffected first-degree relatives suggest that impairment in the goal-directed learning system may be a biomarker for OCD.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Cognitive impairment in late-life depression is common and associated with a higher risk of all-cause dementia. Late-life depression patients with comorbid cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) or related risk factors may experience higher risks of cognitive deterioration in the short term. We aim to investigate the effect of CVDs and their related risk factors on the cognitive function of patients with late-life depression.
A total of 148 participants were recruited (67 individuals with late-life depression and 81 normal controls). The presence of hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, or hyperlipidemia was defined as the presence of comorbid CVDs or related risk factors. Global cognitive functions were assessed at baseline and after a one-year follow-up by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Global cognitive deterioration was defined by the reliable change index (RCI) of the MMSE.
Late-life depression patients with CVDs or related risk factors were associated with 6.8 times higher risk of global cognitive deterioration than those without any of these comorbidities at a one-year follow-up. This result remained robust after adjusting for age, gender, and changes in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) scores.
This study suggests that late-life depression patients with comorbid CVDs or their related risk factors showed a higher risk of cognitive deterioration in the short-term (one-year follow up). Given that CVDs and their related risk factors are currently modifiable, active treatment of these comorbidities may delay rapid cognitive deterioration in patients with late-life depression.
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