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Decoupling of the amygdala to other salience network regions in adolescent-onset recurrent major depressive disorder

  • R. H. Jacobs (a1), A. Barba (a1), J. R. Gowins (a1), H. Klumpp (a1), L. M. Jenkins (a1), B. J. Mickey (a2), O. Ajilore (a1), M. Peciña (a2), M. Sikora (a2), K. A. Ryan (a2), D. T. Hsu (a2) (a3), R. C. Welsh (a2) (a4), J.-K. Zubieta (a2) (a4), K. L. Phan (a1) (a5) and S. A. Langenecker (a1)...

Recent meta-analyses of resting-state networks in major depressive disorder (MDD) implicate network disruptions underlying cognitive and affective features of illness. Heterogeneity of findings to date may stem from the relative lack of data parsing clinical features of MDD such as phase of illness and the burden of multiple episodes.


Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 17 active MDD and 34 remitted MDD patients, and 26 healthy controls (HCs) across two sites. Participants were medication-free and further subdivided into those with single v. multiple episodes to examine disease burden. Seed-based connectivity using the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed to probe the default mode network as well as the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) seeds to probe the salience network (SN) were conducted.


Young adults with remitted MDD demonstrated hyperconnectivity of the left PCC to the left inferior frontal gyrus and of the left sgACC to the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and left hippocampus compared with HCs. Episode-independent effects were observed between the left PCC and the right dorsolateral PFC, as well as between the left amygdala and right insula and caudate, whereas the burden of multiple episodes was associated with hypoconnectivity of the left PCC to multiple cognitive control regions as well as hypoconnectivity of the amygdala to large portions of the SN.


This is the first study of a homogeneous sample of unmedicated young adults with a history of adolescent-onset MDD illustrating brain-based episodic features of illness.

Corresponding author
* Address for correspondence: S. A. Langenecker, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1601 W. Taylor Street, M/C 912, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. (Email:
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