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Emotional dysregulation (ED) is a common characteristic of both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), especially in adolescents. However, whether ADHD and MDD may share the specific ED-related neural networks remains unknown.
In total, 43 adolescents with clinical ED (22 adolescents with ADHD and 21 with MDD) were recruited; in addition, 29 sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HCs) were included. Resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis, voxel-based morphometry, and diffusion tensor imaging analysis were performed for each patient. In addition, we determined the significant regions of interest in patients with ED due to ADHD and MDD as compared with HCs and tested their correlations with clinical rating scale scores.
Compared with HCs, patients with ED had greater RSFC in the cerebellum and supramarginal gyrus (SMG), especially between vermis VI and the SMG in the attention networks, and lower RSFC between the right supplementary motor area and right lateral parietal area. Lower gray matter (GM) volume in the SMG was also found. RSFC was significantly correlated with clinical rating scale scores for all patients with ED due to ADHD or MDD. GM change was correlated with ED and MDD rating scale scores.
The cerebellum and attention networks might play major roles in ED pathophysiology in adolescents with ADHD and MDD. Increased connectivity of the vermis to the SMG serves as a possible underlying neural network.
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