Zhang X, Yao S, Zhu X, Wang X, Zhu X, Zhong M
J Affect Disord 2012 Feb;136(3):443-52
BACKGROUND: The hopelessness theory of depression posits that individuals with negative cognitive styles are at an increased risk for depression following negative life events. In neuroimaging studies, brain gray matter volume abnormalities correlate with the presence of depressive disorders. However, it is unknown whether changes in gray matter volume also appear in healthy individuals with cognitive vulnerability to depression (CVD).
METHODS: 30 subjects diagnosed with CVD, 33 first-episode patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), and 32 healthy controls were examined using voxel-based morphometry following magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
RESULTS: We found significant volumetric differences between three groups in the left precentral gyrus, right fusiform gyrus and the right thalamus. In these regions, compared to controls, CVD subjects showed reduced gray matter volumes in the left precentral gyrus and right fusiform gyrus. MDD patients demonstrated reduced gray matter volume in the left precentral gyrus and increased gray matter volume in the right thalamus. Additionally, CVD individuals had significantly smaller right fusiform gyrus and right thalamus than MDD patients. The weakest-link scores on CSQ were negatively correlated with gray matter volumes in the left precentral gyrus.
CONCLUSIONS: Reductions in brain gray matter volume exist widely in individuals with CVD. In addition, there exist similar abnormalities in gray matter volume in both CVD subjects and MDD patients. Reductions of gray matter volume in the left precentral gyrus might be correlated to the negative cognitive styles, as well as an increased risk for depression.