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Decreased Fronto-Limbic Activation and Disrupted Semantic-Cued List Learning in Major Depressive Disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 February 2016

Michelle T. Kassel
Affiliation:
University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, Chicago, Illinois University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Julia A. Rao
Affiliation:
University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, Chicago, Illinois
Sara J. Walker
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Emily M. Briceño
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan Ann Arbor VA Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Laura B. Gabriel
Affiliation:
University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, Chicago, Illinois
Anne L. Weldon
Affiliation:
University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, Chicago, Illinois
Erich T. Avery
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Brennan D. Haase
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Marta Peciña
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ciaran M. Considine
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Douglas C. Noll
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Linas A. Bieliauskas
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Monica N. Starkman
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Jon-Kar Zubieta
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Robert C. Welsh
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bruno Giordani
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sara L. Weisenbach
Affiliation:
University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, Chicago, Illinois University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Research & Development, Chicago, Illinois
Scott A. Langenecker*
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Scott A. Langenecker, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, 1601 W. Taylor St. M/C 912 Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail: slangenecker@psych.uic.edu

Abstract

Objectives: Individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) demonstrate poorer learning and memory skills relative to never-depressed comparisons (NDC). Previous studies report decreased volume and disrupted function of frontal lobes and hippocampi in MDD during memory challenge. However, it has been difficult to dissociate contributions of short-term memory and executive functioning to memory difficulties from those that might be attributable to long-term memory deficits. Methods: Adult males (MDD, n=19; NDC, n=22) and females (MDD, n=23; NDC, n=19) performed the Semantic List Learning Task (SLLT) during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The SLLT Encoding condition consists of 15 lists, each containing 14 words. After each list, a Distractor condition occurs, followed by cued Silent Rehearsal instructions. Post-scan recall and recognition were collected. Groups were compared using block (Encoding-Silent Rehearsal) and event-related (Words Recalled) models. Results: MDD displayed lower recall relative to NDC. NDC displayed greater activation in several temporal, frontal, and parietal regions, for both Encoding-Silent Rehearsal and the Words Recalled analyses. Groups also differed in activation patterns in regions of the Papez circuit in planned analyses. The majority of activation differences were not related to performance, presence of medications, presence of comorbid anxiety disorder, or decreased gray matter volume in MDD. Conclusions: Adults with MDD exhibit memory difficulties during a task designed to reduce the contribution of individual variability from short-term memory and executive functioning processes, parallel with decreased activation in memory and executive functioning circuits. Ecologically valid long-term memory tasks are imperative for uncovering neural correlates of memory performance deficits in adults with MDD. (JINS, 2016, 22, 412–425)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2016 

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