White matter architecture in major depression with anxious distress symptoms

Gijs J. Heij, Brenda W. H. J. Penninx, Laura S. van Velzen, Marie-José van Tol, Nic J. A. van der Wee, Dick J. Veltman, Moji Aghajani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Comorbid anxious distress is common in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and associated with significantly worse clinical course and treatment response. While DSM-5 recently introduced the Anxious Distress (AD) specifier as a potentially useful symptom-based subtyping scheme for MDD, its neurobiological underpinnings remain unclear. The current study hence uniquely probed whether MDD with co-occurring AD (MDD/AD+) relates to distinct perturbations in frontolimbic white matter (WM) pathways tentatively theorized in MDD/AD+ pathophysiology. Methods: Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was therefore used to analyze diffusion tensor imaging data on WM microstructure, in MDD/AD+ patients (N = 20) relative to MDD patients without AD (MDD/AD-; N = 29) and healthy controls (HC; N = 39). Using TBSS, we probed fractional anisotropy and axial/radial/mean diffusivity as proxies for WM integrity. Categorical (between-groups) and dimensional (within-patients) analyses subsequently assessed how Anxious Distress in MDD impacts frontolimbic WM connectivity. Receiver-Operating Characteristics additionally assessed classification capabilities of between-groups WM effects. Results: Compared to MDD/AD- and HC participants, MDD/AD+ patients exhibited diminished integrity within the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR). Higher AD specifier scores within MDD patients additionally related to diminished integrity of the uncinate fasciculus and cingulum pathways. These effects were not confounded by key clinical (e.g., comorbid anxiety disorder) and sociodemographic (e.g., age/sex) factors, with altered ATR integrity moreover successfully classifying MDD/AD+ patients from MDD/AD- and HC participants (90% sensitivity | 73% specificity | 77% accuracy). Conclusions: These findings collectively link MDD/AD+ to distinct WM anomalies in frontolimbic tracts important to adaptive emotional functioning, and may as such provide relevant, yet preliminary, clues on MDD/AD+ pathophysiology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109664
JournalProgress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Volume94
Early online date31 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this

@article{d1fecee4301e4fca833aae3240eae0f1,
title = "White matter architecture in major depression with anxious distress symptoms",
abstract = "Background: Comorbid anxious distress is common in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and associated with significantly worse clinical course and treatment response. While DSM-5 recently introduced the Anxious Distress (AD) specifier as a potentially useful symptom-based subtyping scheme for MDD, its neurobiological underpinnings remain unclear. The current study hence uniquely probed whether MDD with co-occurring AD (MDD/AD+) relates to distinct perturbations in frontolimbic white matter (WM) pathways tentatively theorized in MDD/AD+ pathophysiology. Methods: Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was therefore used to analyze diffusion tensor imaging data on WM microstructure, in MDD/AD+ patients (N = 20) relative to MDD patients without AD (MDD/AD-; N = 29) and healthy controls (HC; N = 39). Using TBSS, we probed fractional anisotropy and axial/radial/mean diffusivity as proxies for WM integrity. Categorical (between-groups) and dimensional (within-patients) analyses subsequently assessed how Anxious Distress in MDD impacts frontolimbic WM connectivity. Receiver-Operating Characteristics additionally assessed classification capabilities of between-groups WM effects. Results: Compared to MDD/AD- and HC participants, MDD/AD+ patients exhibited diminished integrity within the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR). Higher AD specifier scores within MDD patients additionally related to diminished integrity of the uncinate fasciculus and cingulum pathways. These effects were not confounded by key clinical (e.g., comorbid anxiety disorder) and sociodemographic (e.g., age/sex) factors, with altered ATR integrity moreover successfully classifying MDD/AD+ patients from MDD/AD- and HC participants (90{\%} sensitivity | 73{\%} specificity | 77{\%} accuracy). Conclusions: These findings collectively link MDD/AD+ to distinct WM anomalies in frontolimbic tracts important to adaptive emotional functioning, and may as such provide relevant, yet preliminary, clues on MDD/AD+ pathophysiology.",
author = "Heij, {Gijs J.} and Penninx, {Brenda W. H. J.} and {van Velzen}, {Laura S.} and {van Tol}, Marie-Jos{\'e} and {van der Wee}, {Nic J. A.} and Veltman, {Dick J.} and Moji Aghajani",
note = "Copyright {\circledC} 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109664",
language = "English",
volume = "94",
journal = "Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry",
issn = "0278-5846",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",

}

White matter architecture in major depression with anxious distress symptoms. / Heij, Gijs J.; Penninx, Brenda W. H. J.; van Velzen, Laura S.; van Tol, Marie-José; van der Wee, Nic J. A.; Veltman, Dick J.; Aghajani, Moji.

In: Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 94, 109664, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - White matter architecture in major depression with anxious distress symptoms

AU - Heij, Gijs J.

AU - Penninx, Brenda W. H. J.

AU - van Velzen, Laura S.

AU - van Tol, Marie-José

AU - van der Wee, Nic J. A.

AU - Veltman, Dick J.

AU - Aghajani, Moji

N1 - Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Background: Comorbid anxious distress is common in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and associated with significantly worse clinical course and treatment response. While DSM-5 recently introduced the Anxious Distress (AD) specifier as a potentially useful symptom-based subtyping scheme for MDD, its neurobiological underpinnings remain unclear. The current study hence uniquely probed whether MDD with co-occurring AD (MDD/AD+) relates to distinct perturbations in frontolimbic white matter (WM) pathways tentatively theorized in MDD/AD+ pathophysiology. Methods: Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was therefore used to analyze diffusion tensor imaging data on WM microstructure, in MDD/AD+ patients (N = 20) relative to MDD patients without AD (MDD/AD-; N = 29) and healthy controls (HC; N = 39). Using TBSS, we probed fractional anisotropy and axial/radial/mean diffusivity as proxies for WM integrity. Categorical (between-groups) and dimensional (within-patients) analyses subsequently assessed how Anxious Distress in MDD impacts frontolimbic WM connectivity. Receiver-Operating Characteristics additionally assessed classification capabilities of between-groups WM effects. Results: Compared to MDD/AD- and HC participants, MDD/AD+ patients exhibited diminished integrity within the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR). Higher AD specifier scores within MDD patients additionally related to diminished integrity of the uncinate fasciculus and cingulum pathways. These effects were not confounded by key clinical (e.g., comorbid anxiety disorder) and sociodemographic (e.g., age/sex) factors, with altered ATR integrity moreover successfully classifying MDD/AD+ patients from MDD/AD- and HC participants (90% sensitivity | 73% specificity | 77% accuracy). Conclusions: These findings collectively link MDD/AD+ to distinct WM anomalies in frontolimbic tracts important to adaptive emotional functioning, and may as such provide relevant, yet preliminary, clues on MDD/AD+ pathophysiology.

AB - Background: Comorbid anxious distress is common in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and associated with significantly worse clinical course and treatment response. While DSM-5 recently introduced the Anxious Distress (AD) specifier as a potentially useful symptom-based subtyping scheme for MDD, its neurobiological underpinnings remain unclear. The current study hence uniquely probed whether MDD with co-occurring AD (MDD/AD+) relates to distinct perturbations in frontolimbic white matter (WM) pathways tentatively theorized in MDD/AD+ pathophysiology. Methods: Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was therefore used to analyze diffusion tensor imaging data on WM microstructure, in MDD/AD+ patients (N = 20) relative to MDD patients without AD (MDD/AD-; N = 29) and healthy controls (HC; N = 39). Using TBSS, we probed fractional anisotropy and axial/radial/mean diffusivity as proxies for WM integrity. Categorical (between-groups) and dimensional (within-patients) analyses subsequently assessed how Anxious Distress in MDD impacts frontolimbic WM connectivity. Receiver-Operating Characteristics additionally assessed classification capabilities of between-groups WM effects. Results: Compared to MDD/AD- and HC participants, MDD/AD+ patients exhibited diminished integrity within the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR). Higher AD specifier scores within MDD patients additionally related to diminished integrity of the uncinate fasciculus and cingulum pathways. These effects were not confounded by key clinical (e.g., comorbid anxiety disorder) and sociodemographic (e.g., age/sex) factors, with altered ATR integrity moreover successfully classifying MDD/AD+ patients from MDD/AD- and HC participants (90% sensitivity | 73% specificity | 77% accuracy). Conclusions: These findings collectively link MDD/AD+ to distinct WM anomalies in frontolimbic tracts important to adaptive emotional functioning, and may as such provide relevant, yet preliminary, clues on MDD/AD+ pathophysiology.

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UR - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31158389

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DO - 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109664

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