Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Improves Amygdale Functional Connectivity in Major Depressive Disorder
Frontiers in Psychiatry. 11 (no pagination), 2020. Article Number: 732. Date of Publication: 31 Jul 2020.
Chen F.-J.; Gu C.-Z.; Zhai N.; Duan H.-F.; Zhai A.-L.; Zhang X.
Emotional abnormality in major depressive disorder (MDD) is generally regarded to be associated with functional dysregulation in the affective network (AN). The present study examined the changes in characteristics of AN connectivity of MDD patients before and after repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and to further assess how these connectivity changes are linked to clinical characteristics of patients. Functional connectivity (FC) in the AN defined by placing seeds in the bilateral amygdale was calculated in 20 patients with MDD before and after rTMS, and in 20 healthy controls (CN). Furthermore, a linear regression model was used to obtain correlations between FC changes and Hamilton depression scale (HAMD) changes in MDD before and after rTMS. Before rTMS, compared with CN, MDD exhibited significantly lower FC between left insula (INS.L), right superior and inferior frontal gyrus (SFG.R and IFG.R), right inferior parietal lobule (IPL.R), and amygdala, and showed an increment of FC between the bilateral precuneus and amygdala in AN. After rTMS, MDD exhibited a significant increase in FC in the INS.L, IFG.R, SFG.R, IPL.R, and a significant reduction in FC in the precuneus. Interestingly, change in FC between INS.L and left amygdala was positively correlated with change in HAMD scores before and after rTMS treatment. rTMS can enhance affective network connectivity in MDD patients, which is linked to emotional improvement. This study further suggests that the insula may be a potential target region of clinical efficacy for MDD to design rationale strategies for therapeutic trials.