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The neuroanatomy of subthreshold depressive symptoms in Huntington's disease: a combined diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2013

R. Sprengelmeyer
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK
M. Orth
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany
H.-P. Müller
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany
R. C. Wolf
Affiliation:
Centre for Psychosocial Medicine, Department of General Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
G. Grön
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany
M. S. Depping
Affiliation:
Centre for Psychosocial Medicine, Department of General Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
J. Kassubek
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany
D. Justo
Affiliation:
Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), Paris, France Unité Mixte de Recherche S975, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Pitie-Salpêtrière Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), Paris, France Unité 975, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Paris, France Unité Mixte de Recherche 7225, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France
E. M. Rees
Affiliation:
Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
S. Haider
Affiliation:
Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
J. H. Cole
Affiliation:
Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
N. Z. Hobbs
Affiliation:
Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
R. A. C. Roos
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
A. Dürr
Affiliation:
Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), Paris, France Unité Mixte de Recherche S975, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Pitie-Salpêtrière Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), Paris, France Unité 975, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Paris, France Unité Mixte de Recherche 7225, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France Genetic Department, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), Paris, France
S. J. Tabrizi
Affiliation:
Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
S. D. Süssmuth
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany
G. B. Landwehrmeyer
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Background

Depressive symptoms are prominent psychopathological features of Huntington's disease (HD), making a negative impact on social functioning and well-being.

Method

We compared the frequencies of a history of depression, previous suicide attempts and current subthreshold depression between 61 early-stage HD participants and 40 matched controls. The HD group was then split based on the overall HD group's median Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-depression score into a group of 30 non-depressed participants (mean 0.8, s.d. = 0.7) and a group of 31 participants with subthreshold depressive symptoms (mean 7.3, s.d. = 3.5) to explore the neuroanatomy underlying subthreshold depressive symptoms in HD using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

Results

Frequencies of history of depression, previous suicide attempts or current subthreshold depressive symptoms were higher in HD than in controls. The severity of current depressive symptoms was also higher in HD, but not associated with the severity of HD motor signs or disease burden. Compared with the non-depressed HD group DTI revealed lower fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the frontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, insula and cerebellum of the HD group with subthreshold depressive symptoms. In contrast, VBM measures were similar in both HD groups. A history of depression, the severity of HD motor signs or disease burden did not correlate with FA values of these regions.

Conclusions

Current subthreshold depressive symptoms in early HD are associated with microstructural changes – without concomitant brain volume loss – in brain regions known to be involved in major depressive disorder, but not those typically associated with HD pathology.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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The neuroanatomy of subthreshold depressive symptoms in Huntington's disease: a combined diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) study
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