Prediction on treatment improvement in depression with resting state connectivity: A coordinate-based meta-analysis

J Affect Disord. 2020 Nov 1;276:62-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.06.072. Epub 2020 Jul 14.


Background: Previous neuroimaging studies revealed abnormal resting-state functional connectivity between distributed brain areas in patients with major depressive disorder. Those abnormalities were normalized after treatment. Moreover, the functional connectivity could predict clinical response to those treatments. However, there has currently been no meta-analysis to verify these findings.

Methods: The current study aimed to investigate how the resting-state connectivity patterns predict antidepressant response to various treatments across depressive studies by using coordinate-based meta-analysis named activation likelihood estimation. The relevant articles were obtained by searching on PubMed and Web of Science.

Results: Following exclusion criteria of inappropriate studies, seventeen papers with 392 individual depressive patients were included. Those articles contained repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment, pharmacotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation in patients with depression. Meta-analysis revealed that clinical response to all treatments could be predicted by baseline default mode network connectivity in patients with depression. The rTMS treatment had larger effect size compared to other treatment strategies. Furthermore, subgroup meta-analysis showed that the baseline connectivity of perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) and ventral medial prefrontal cortex could predict symptoms improvement of rTMS treatment.

Limitations: More resting-state connectivity studies of CBT and ECT treatment are needed.

Conclusions: This study highlighted crucial role of DMN, especially the pgACC, in understanding the underlying treatment mechanism of depression.

Keywords: Default mode network; Depression; Meta-analysis; Prediction; Resting-state connectivity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain
  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder, Major* / diagnostic imaging
  • Depressive Disorder, Major* / therapy
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation