Imaging the neurobiological substrate of atypical depression by SPECT

Marco Pagani, Dario Salmaso, Davide Nardo, Cathrine Jonsson, Hans Jacobsson, Stig A. Larsson, Ann Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Neurobiological abnormalities underlying atypical depression have previously been suggested. The purpose of this study was to explore differences at functional brain imaging between depressed patients with and without atypical features and healthy controls. Methods: Twenty-three out-patients with chronic depressive disorder recruited from a service for patients with audiological symptoms were investigated. Eleven fulfilled the DSM-IV criteria for atypical depression (mood reactivity and at least two of the following: weight gain, hypersomnia, leaden paralysis and interpersonal rejection sensitivity). Twenty-three healthy subjects served as controls. Voxel-based analysis was applied to explore differences in 99mTc-HMPAO uptake between groups. Results: Patients in the atypical group had a higher prevalence of bilateral hearing impairment and higher depression and somatic distress ratings at the time of SPECT. Significantly higher tracer uptake was found bilaterally in the atypical group as compared with the non-atypicals in the sensorimotor (Brodmann areas, BA1-3) and premotor cortex in the superior frontal gyri (BA6), in the middle frontal cortex (BA8), in the parietal associative cortex (BA5, BA7) and in the inferior parietal lobule (BA40). Significantly lower tracer distribution was found in the right hemisphere in the non-atypicals compared with the controls in BA6, BA8, BA44, BA45 and BA46 in the frontal cortex, in the orbito-frontal cortex (BA11, BA47), in the postcentral parietal cortex (BA2) and in the multimodal association parietal cortex (BA40). Conclusion: The differences found between atypical and non-atypical depressed patients suggest different neurobiological substrates in these patient groups. The putative links with the clinical features of atypical depression are discussed. These findings encourage the use of functional neuroimaging in psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-120
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Tc-HMPAO
  • Atypical depression
  • rCBF-SPECT
  • SPM
  • Unipolar depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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