Major depressive disorder (MDD) is accompanied by atypical brain structure. This study first presents the alterations in the cortical surface of patients with MDD using multidimensional structural patterns that reflect different neurodevelopment. Sixteen first-episode, untreated patients with MDD and 16 matched healthy controls underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The cortical maps of thickness, surface area, and gyrification were examined using the surface-based morphometry (SBM) approach. Increase of cortical thickness was observed in the right posterior cingulate region and the parietal cortex involving the bilateral inferior, left superior parietal and right paracentral regions, while decreased thickness was noted in the parietal cortex including bilateral pars opercularis and left precentral region, as well as the left rostral-middle frontal regions in patients with MDD. Likewise, increased or decreased surface area was found in five sub-regions of the cingulate gyrus, parietal and frontal cortices (e.g., bilateral inferior parietal and superior frontal regions). In addition, MDD patients exhibited a significant hypergyrification in the right precentral and supramarginal region. This integrated structural assessment of cortical surface suggests that MDD patients have cortical alterations of the frontal, parietal and cingulate regions, indicating a vulnerability to MDD during earlier neurodevelopmental process.
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© 2015 Peng et al.
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