Depression in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is highly prevalent and carries significant morbidity and mortality. Its neural basis is poorly understood. We used quantitative, surface-based MRI analysis to correlate brain morphometry with severity of depressive symptoms in 38 patients with TLE and 45 controls. Increasing severity of depressive symptoms was associated with orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) thinning in controls, but with OFC thickening in TLE patients. These results demonstrate distinct neuroanatomical substrates for depression with and without TLE, and suggest a unique role for OFC, a limbic region for emotional processing strongly interconnected with medial temporal structures, in TLE-related depressive symptoms.
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