Reduced left subgenual anterior cingulate cortical activity during withdrawal-related emotions in melancholic depressed female patients.

Chris Baeken, Peter Van Schuerbeek, Rudi De Raedt, Nick Ramsey, Axel Bossuyt, Johan De Mey, Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt, Lemke Leyman, Robert Luypaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Research regarding the neurocircuitry in mood disorders suggests an important role for affective information processing of the subgenual part of the anterior cingulate cortex (Cg25: Brodmann area 25).
OBJECTIVE:

In this study, we focused on Cg25 neuronal responses in depressed females using a paradigm in which emotions are elicited without explicit cognitive control, relying on the salient nature of the mood inducing stimuli eliciting approach-related emotions (like happiness) or withdrawal-related emotions (like disgust).

METHODS:

Twelve treatment-resistant melancholic depressed women and 12 healthy female control subjects were asked to passively view blocks of emotionally valenced baby faces while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

RESULTS:

Compared to the healthy females, the depressed patients displayed significantly higher bilateral Cg25 neuronal activities in both emotional conditions. In melancholically depressed women, we found significantly less left-sided than right-sided Cg25 neuronal activity during the withdrawal-related emotions, while right-sided Cg25 activity was comparable for both emotional responses.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results indicate that in depressed women the left Cg25 modulates intense visceral emotional responses to aversive visual stimuli. This could help explain why the left Cg25 provides a valid target region for antidepressant treatment strategies in unipolar melancholic depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-331
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume127
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Melancholic depression
  • Subgenual cingulate cortex
  • Emotion

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