A systematic review of resting-state functional-MRI studies in major depression

J Affect Disord. 2012 Dec 15;142(1-3):6-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.04.013. Epub 2012 Jul 31.


Background: To evaluate the literature pertaining to the use of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in Major Depression (MD).

Methods: A search for papers published in English was conducted using MedLine, Embase, PsycINFO, OvidSP, and ScienceDirect with the following words: resting state, depression, MRI, affective, and default-mode.

Results: The findings from 16 resting-state fMRI studies on MD are tabulated. Some common findings are discussed in further detail.

Conclusion: The use of resting-state fMRI in MD research has yielded a number of significant findings that provide the basis for understanding the pathophysiology of depressive symptoms. Of particular note and deserving of further research are the roles of the cortico-limbic mood regulating circuit (MRC) and the interaction between task-positive and task-negative networks in MD. There is increasing interest in the use of resting-state fMRI in the study of psychiatric conditions, and continued improvement in technique and methodology will prove valuable in future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Caudate Nucleus / pathology
  • Caudate Nucleus / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / pathology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Limbic System / pathology
  • Limbic System / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Mood Disorders / pathology
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology
  • Thalamus / pathology
  • Thalamus / physiopathology