Frontiers in Psychology (2020-04-01)

Altered Spontaneous Neural Activity in Peripartum Depression: A Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

  • Kaili Che,
  • Ning Mao,
  • Yuna Li,
  • Meijie Liu,
  • Heng Ma,
  • Wei Bai,
  • Xiao Xu,
  • Jianjun Dong,
  • Ying Li,
  • Yinghong Shi,
  • Haizhu Xie

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11


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Abnormalities related to peripartum depression (PPD) have been detected in several brain regions through tasking-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In this study, we used the two markers of resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) to investigate changes in spontaneous neural activity of PPD and their correlation with depression severity. A total of 16 individuals with PPD were compared with 16 age- and education-matched healthy controls (HCs) by using rs-fMRI. Two-sample t-test was used to compare the fractional amplitudes of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) values between groups. Pearson correlation analysis was used to determine the correlation between the fALFF and ReHo of the abnormal brain region and the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale scores. The spontaneous neural activity of the PPD group significantly increased mainly in the left middle frontal gyrus, left precuneus, left inferior parietal lobule, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and decreased mainly in the bilateral precentral gyrus and right inferior occipital gyrus compared with those of the HCs. The fALFF value of the left DLPFC was negatively correlated with the HAMD score in PPD. This rs-fMRI study suggests that changes in the spontaneous neural activity of these regions are related to emotional responses. PPD cases with low fALFF values in the left DLPFC have severe depression.