Precuneus connectivity and symptom severity in chronic depression ✰


Although abnormal resting state connectivity within several brain networks has been repeatedly reported in depression, little is known about connectivity in patients with early onset chronic depression. We compared resting state connectivity in a homogenous sample of 32 unmedicated patients with early onset chronic depression and 40 healthy control participants in a seed-to-voxel-analysis. According to previous meta-analyses on resting state connectivity in depression, 12 regions implicated in default mode, limbic, frontoparietal and ventral attention networks were chosen as seeds. We also investigated associations between connectivity values and severity of depression. Patients with chronic depression exhibited stronger connectivity between precuneus and right pre-supplementary motor area than healthy control participants, possibly reflecting aberrant information processing and emotion regulation deficits in depression. Higher depression severity scores (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression) were strongly and selectively associated with weaker connectivity between the precuneus and the subcallosal anterior cingulate. Our findings correspond to results obtained in studies including both episodic and chronic depression. This suggests that there may be no strong differences between subtypes of depression regarding the seeds analyzed here. To further clarify this issue, future studies should directly compare patients with different courses of depression.


Rubart, A. K., Zurowski, B., Veer, I. M., Schön, D., Göttlich, M., Klein, J. P., Schramm, E., Wenzel, J. G., Haber, C., Schoepf, D., Sommer, J., Konrad, C., Schnell, K., & Walter, H. (2022). Precuneus connectivity and symptom severity in chronic depressionPsychiatry research. Neuroimaging322, 111471.

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