Behavioral Neuroscience | Neurobiology of Disease & Regeneration | Menopause & Post-Reproductive Women's Health | Psychological Challenges & Issues for Women | Mood Disorders | Neuroimaging
Cortical thickness analysis in unmedicated women with perimenopausal depression
Luciano Minuzzi*, Benicio N Frey, Geoffrey B Hall, Ivan Skelin, Stefanie Attard, Meir Steiner, Claudio N Soares
*Corresponding author: Luciano Minuzzi
Women’s Health Concerns Clinic, St. Joseph Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, Mood Disorders Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
F1000Posters 2011, 2: 843 (poster) [ENGLISH]
Poster [945.52 KB]
66th Society of Biological Psychiatry Annual Meeting 2011, 11 - 13 May 2011, 1011
Several epidemiological studies revealed that women are at higher risk to develop depression during menopausal transition. We have recently demonstrated that perimenopausal women with depression failed to deactivate the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) during a response inhibition task.
Here we: (1) measured grey matter thickness in medication-free women with perimenopausal depression and matched controls, and (2) investigated grey matter abnormalities in the ACC in this population.
Thirteen drug-free peri/postmenopausal women with depression (mean age: 49.5, mean MADRS scores: 19.2, mean onset of episode: 17.6 months) and 13 healthy matched controls (mean: age 50.1, MADRS scores: 2.6) underwent high-resolution structural MRI at 3T. Cortical thickness analyses were conducted with Brain Voyager software. Volume-of-interests (VOIs) corresponding to ACC subregions (dorsal, rostral, and subgenual) were manually drawn on the three dimensional image.
Voxel-wise analysis revealed decreases in grey matter thickness in depressed patients in the temporal lobe (superior and middle temporal gyri), angular gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, ACC, anterior midcingulate cortex and precuneus. VOI analysis in the ACC showed reduction in cortical thickness in the depressed group (ANOVA, F= 6.4, p= 0.01) in the left hemisphere. Left dACC presented higher cortical thinning in patients (<20%, p= 0.02). MADRS scores were inversely correlated with cortical thickness in the left ACC (p= 0.01). No effect of age on cortical thickness was found in both groups.
To our knowledge, this is the first study examining cortical thickness in medication-free MDD midlife women and matched controls. Unmedicated women with perimenopausal depression showed reduction in cortical thickness in frontal-cingulate-temporal regions. In addition, severity of depressive symptoms was associated with cortical thinning in the left ACC. These results suggest that the untreated depressive disorder during menopausal transition might have a negative impact in discrete brain regions associated with mood and cognitive control.
No relevant conflicts of interest declared.
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