Frontolimbic network topology associated with risk and presence of depression in adolescents: A study using a composite risk score in Brazil

Leehyun Yoon, Fernanda Rohrsetzer, Lucas Battel, Mauricio Anes, Pedro H. Manfro, Luis A. Rohde, Anna Viduani, Zuzanna Zajkowska, Valeria Mondelli, Christian Kieling, Johnna R. Swartz

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: There have been significant challenges in understanding functional brain connectivity associated with adolescent depression, including the need for a more comprehensive approach to defining risk, the lack of representation of participants from low- and middle-income countries, and the need for network-based approaches to model connectivity. The current study aimed to address these challenges by examining resting-state functional connectivity of frontolimbic circuitry associated with the risk and presence of depression in adolescents in Brazil. Methods: Adolescents in Brazil ages 14 to 16 years were classified into low-risk, high-risk, and depressed groups using a clinical assessment and composite risk score that integrates 11 sociodemographic risk variables. After excluding participants with excessive head movement, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 126 adolescents were analyzed. We compared group differences in frontolimbic network connectivity using region of interest–to–region of interest, graph theory, and seed-based connectivity analyses. Associations between self-reported depressive symptoms and brain connectivity were also explored. Results: Adolescents with depression showed greater dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) connectivity with the orbitofrontal cortex compared with the 2 risk groups and greater dorsal ACC global efficiency than the low-risk group. Adolescents with depression also showed reduced local efficiency and a lower clustering coefficient of the subgenual ACC compared with the 2 risk groups. The high-risk group also showed a lower subgenual ACC clustering coefficient relative to the low-risk group. Conclusions: These findings highlight altered connectivity and topology of the ACC within frontolimbic circuitry as potential neural correlates and risk factors of developing depression in adolescents in Brazil. This study broadens our understanding of the neural connectivity associated with adolescent depression in a global context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Early online date28 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2022


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