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Cross-lagged Relationships Between Depressive Symptoms and Altered Default Mode Network Connectivity Over the Course of Adolescence

Published:December 17, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.10.018

      Abstract

      Background

      Although the peak onset of depressive symptoms occurs during adolescence, very few studies have directly examined depression-related changes in resting-state (RS) default mode network activity during adolescence, controlling for potential neural markers of risk.

      Methods

      This study used data from a longitudinal adolescent cohort to investigate age-specific, persistent (i.e., lagged), and dynamic associations between RS functional connectivity within the default mode network and depressive symptoms during adolescence using a random intercept cross-lagged panel framework. The Neuroventure sample consisted of 151 adolescents ages 12–14 at study entry without any neurological illness who were assessed three times during a 5-year follow-up with 97% follow-up across the three assessments. Depressive symptoms were measured using the depression subscale of the Brief Symptoms Inventory. RS functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected using a 3T Siemens Magnetom Trio scanner in a single 6-minute sequence.

      Results

      After controlling for relationships between random intercepts, future depression risk was predicted by RS couplings in the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex and anterior dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (β = −0.69, p = .014) and in the left inferior parietal lobule and anterior superior frontal gyrus (β = −0.43, p = .035). Increases in depressive symptoms at previous time points significantly predicted changes in functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex and the precuneus and posterior middle temporal gyrus (β = 0.37, p = .039) and between the dorsal precuneus and posterior middle temporal gyrus (β = 0.47, p = .036).

      Conclusions

      This study was able to disassociate the RS brain markers of depression from those that appear to follow early-onset depression.

      Keywords

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