Neurostructural impact of co-occurring anxiety in pediatric patients with major depressive disorder

A voxel-based morphometry study

Anna M. Wehry, Robert K. McNamara, Caleb M. Adler, James C. Eliassen, Paul E Croarkin, Michael A. Cerullo, Melissa P. Delbello, Jeffrey R. Strawn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Depressive and anxiety disorders are among the most frequently occurring psychiatric conditions in children and adolescents and commonly present occur together. Co-occurring depression and anxiety is associated with increased functional impairment and suicidality compared to depression alone. Despite this, little is known regarding the neurostructural differences between anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder (MDD). Moreover, the neurophysiologic impact of the presence of anxiety in adolescents with MDD is unknown. Methods Using voxel-based morphometry, gray matter volumes were compared among adolescents with MDD (and no co-morbid anxiety disorders, n=14), adolescents with MDD and co-morbid anxiety ("anxious depression," n=12), and healthy comparison subjects (n=41). Results Patients with anxious depression exhibited decreased gray matter volumes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) compared to patients with MDD alone. Compared to healthy subjects, adolescents with anxious depression had increased gray matter volumes in the pre- and post-central gyri. Limitations The current sample size was small and precluded an analysis of multiple covariates which may influence GMV. Conclusions Gray matter deficits in the DLPFC in youth with anxious depression compared to patients with MDD and no co-occurring anxiety may reflect the more severe psychopathology in these patients. Additionally, the distinct gray matter fingerprints of MDD and anxious depression (compared to healthy subjects) suggest differing neurophysiologic substrates for these conditions, though the etiology and longitudinal trajectory of the differences remain to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume171
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2014

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Major Depressive Disorder
Anxiety
Depression
Pediatrics
Anxiety Disorders
Healthy Volunteers
Prefrontal Cortex
Somatosensory Cortex
Dermatoglyphics
Depressive Disorder
Psychopathology
Sample Size
Psychiatry
Gray Matter

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Neurostructural impact of co-occurring anxiety in pediatric patients with major depressive disorder : A voxel-based morphometry study. / Wehry, Anna M.; McNamara, Robert K.; Adler, Caleb M.; Eliassen, James C.; Croarkin, Paul E; Cerullo, Michael A.; Delbello, Melissa P.; Strawn, Jeffrey R.

In: Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 171, 20.09.2014, p. 54-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wehry, Anna M. ; McNamara, Robert K. ; Adler, Caleb M. ; Eliassen, James C. ; Croarkin, Paul E ; Cerullo, Michael A. ; Delbello, Melissa P. ; Strawn, Jeffrey R. / Neurostructural impact of co-occurring anxiety in pediatric patients with major depressive disorder : A voxel-based morphometry study. In: Journal of Affective Disorders. 2014 ; Vol. 171. pp. 54-59.
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