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Original Article
Functional imaging analysis of the whole brain ALFF and DC in MDD after medication treatment
LI Yingna  LI Hui  ZHAO Liying  WANG Zhiren 

Cite this article as: Li YN, Li H, Zhao LY, et al. Functional imaging analysis of the whole brain ALFF and DC in MDD after medication treatment[J]. Chin J Magn Reson Imaging, 2022, 13(1): 64-69. DOI:10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.01.013.

[Abstract] Objective To evaluate the altered functional change in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) before and after medication treatment using the whole brain amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and degree centrality (DC) levels, and investigate the potential mechanism of brain functional change.Materials and Methods: Seventeen participants (male 8/female 9) diagnosed with MDD were included in the study and underwent one brain functional image scan. The same rs-fMRI scan was undergone again after 8-week medication treatment. The progression of disease of patients was measured by 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD17) and Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) following each MRI scan. The significant difference of clinical scales and ALFF and DC levels before and after medication treatment were determined using paired t-test. The relationship between ALFF and DC levels in the whole brain regions and HAMD17 and RBANS scores were based on Pearson correlation coefficient. All data were corrected by Gaussian random field theory (GRF, voxel-wise P<0.01, cluster-wise P<0.05, and two-tailed test).Results The paired t-test found that the scores of HAMD17 after medication treatment were significantly lower than that before (P<0.001), while immediate memory and attention scores were significantly higher than before (P<0.001). Moreover, the ALFF values after medication treatment were higher than that before in the Putamen_L (AAL) and Frontal_Mid_R/Frontal_Sup_R (AAL) (GRF correction, voxel level P<0.01, cluster level P<0.05). The DC values after medication treatment were higher in the Calcarine_L/Cerebelum_6_R and lower in the Frontal_Sup_R/Frontal_Mid_R (AAL) (GRF correction, voxel level P<0.01, cluster level P<0.05). Pearson correlation showed that there was a positive correlation found between ALFF values and education (r2=0.27, P=0.03) in the Frontal_Mid_R (AAL) (GRF correction, voxel level P<0.01, cluster level P<0.05).The after treatment DC values were negatively corelated with RBANS-delayed memory score (r2=0.672, P<0.0001) in the Temporal_Sup_R (AAL), and RBANS-Immediate Memory score (r2=0.668, P<0.0001) in the SupraMarginal_R/Temporal_Sup_R (GRF correction, voxel level P<0.01, cluster level P<0.05), respectively.Conclusions The present study demonstrated that the resting-state functional brain activity (ALFF, DC) had strong relationship with cognitive ability (RBANS scores) in patients with MDD after medication treatment, which might provide new imaging markers as progression of MDD. Our results indicated that the ALFF and DC might help detect the underlying pathological mechanism in MDD continuum.
[Keywords] major depressive disorder;medication treatment;amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation;degree centrality;magnetic resonance imaging;resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging

LI Yingna1   LI Hui2   ZHAO Liying1   WANG Zhiren2*  

1 Department of Medical Imaging Center, Beijing Huilongguan Hospital, Beijing 100096, China

2 Department of Psychiatry Research Center, Beijing Huilongguan Hospital, Beijing 100096, China

Wang ZR, E-mail:

Conflicts of interest   None.

Received  2021-08-04
Accepted  2021-11-10
DOI: 10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.01.013
Cite this article as: Li YN, Li H, Zhao LY, et al. Functional imaging analysis of the whole brain ALFF and DC in MDD after medication treatment[J]. Chin J Magn Reson Imaging, 2022, 13(1): 64-69.DOI:10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.01.013

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