Connectivity patterns of cognitive control network in first episode medication-naive depression and remitted depression

Behav Brain Res. 2020 Feb 3:379:112381. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112381. Epub 2019 Nov 23.


Background: Cognitive dysfunctions, such as impaired cognitive control, are frequently observed in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Although the cognitive control network (CCN) is widely considered a core feature of major depressive disorder (MDD), the relationship between cognitive dysfunction and symptom dimensions remains unclear. This study investigated differences in resting-state functional connectivity of the cognitive control network (CCN) between first-episode medication-naive MDD patients and remitted MDD.

Methods: We collected resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data from 22 first-episode medication-naive major depressive disorder (fMDD) patients, 20 patients previously diagnosed with MDD in the remitted phase of depression (rMDD), and 20 healthy controls (HC). The CCN was derived from fMRI images using independent component analysis (ICA), a data-driven image analysis method.

Results: Changes in functional connectivity (FC) within the CCN was mainly attenuated in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the left inferior parietal lobule, while strengthened in the right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the right insula in both fMDD and rMDD groups. Compared with the fMDD group, the rMDD group had decreased FC in the bilateral insula and the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Further analysis explored that the FC in the bilateral insula, the right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the right inferior parietal lobule were correlated positively cognitive disturbance factor scores in both patients groups.

Conclusions: These findings are in agreement with the previous findings that the cognitive control network are impaired in MDD. Furthermore, our results suggest that the alteration of CCN might underpin the cognitive disturbance and the distinct patterns of the CCN between fMDD and rMDD patients may be an important target for effective cognitive remediation in MDD.

Keywords: Cognitive control network; First-episode medication-naive major depressive disorder; Functional connectivity; Independent component analysis; Remitted phase of MDD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology*
  • Connectome*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / complications
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnostic imaging
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology*
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Remission Induction