Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Regional cerebral blood flow in depression measured by positron emission tomography: the relationship with clinical dimensions

  • C. J. Bench (a1), K. J. Friston (a1), R. G. Brown (a1), R. S. J. Frackowiak (a1) and R. J. Dolan (a1)...

We have previously reported focal abnormalities of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in a group of 33 patients with major depression. This report, on an extended sample of 40 patients who demonstrated identical regional deficits to those previously described, examines the relationships between depressive symptoms and patterns of rCBF. Patients' symptom ratings were subjected to factor analysis, producing a three-factor solution. The scores for these three factors, which corresponded to recognizable dimensions of depressive illness, were then correlated with rCBF. The first factor had high loadings for anxiety and correlated positively with rCBF in the posterior cingulate cortex and inferior parietal lobule bilaterally. The second factor had high loadings for psychomotor retardation and depressed mood and correlated negatively with rCBF in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and left angular gyrus. The third factor had a high loading for cognitive performance and correlated positively with rCBF in the left medial prefrontal cortex. These data indicate that symptomatic specificity may be ascribed to regional functional deficits in major depressive illness.

Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr Christopher J. Bench, MRC Cyclotron Unit, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HS.
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

N. C. Andreasen , W. M. Grove & R. Maurer (1980). Cluster analysis and the classification of depression. British Journal of Psychiatry 137, 256265.

C. Baleydier & F. Mauguiére (1980). The duality of the cingulate gyrus in the monkey. Brain 103, 525554.

L. R. Baxter , M. E. Phelps , J. C. Mazziotta , J. M. Schwartz , R. H. Gerner , C. E. Selin & R. M. Sumida (1985). Cerebral metabolic rates for glucose in mood disorders. Studies with positron emission tomography and fluorodeoxyglucose F18. Archives of General Psychiatry 42, 441447.

L. R. Baxter , J. M. Schwartz , M. E. Phelps , J. C. Mazziotta , B. H. Guze , C. E. Selin , R. H. Gerner & R. M. Sumida (1989). Reduction of prefrontal cortex metabolism common to three types of depression. Archives of General Psychiatry 46, 243250.

R. M. Brown , A. M. Crane & P. S. Goldman (1979). Regional distribution of monoamines in the cerebral cortex and subcortical structures of the rhesus monkey: concentrations and in vivo synthesis rates. Brain Research 168, 133150.

T. J. Brozoski , R. M. Brown , H. E. Rosvold & P. S. Goldman (1979). Cognitive deficit caused by regional depletion of dopamine in prefrontal cortex of the rhesus monkey. Science 205, 929932.

M. S. Buchsbaum , L. E. DeLisi , H. H. Holcomb , J. Cappelletti , A. C. King , J. Johnson , E. Hazlett , S. Dowling-Zimmerman , R. M. Post , J. Morihisa , W. Carpenter , R. Cohen , D. Pickar , D. R. Weinberger , R. Margolin & R. M. Kessler (1984). Anteroposterior gradients in cerebral glucose use in schizophrenia and affective disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry 41, 11591166.

R. M. Cohen , W. E. Semple , M. Gross , T. E. Nordahl , A. C. King , D. Pickar & R. M. Post (1989). Evidence for common alterations in cerebral glucose metabolism in major affective disorders and schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology 2, 241254.

J. C. Cutting (1992). The role of right hemisphere dysfunction in psychiatric disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry 160, 583588.

V. Delvenne , F. Delecluse , P. P. Hubain , A. Schoutens , V. De Maertelaer & J. Mendlewicz (1990). Regional cerebral blood flow in patients with affective disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry 157, 359365.

R. J. Dolan , C. J. Bench , R. G. Brown , L. C. Scott , K. J. Friston & R. S. J. Frackowiak (1992 a). Regional cerebral blood flow abnormalities in depressed patients with cognitive impairment. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 55, 768773.

J. Endicott & R. L. Spitzer (1978). A diagnostic interview. The Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry 35, 837844.

E. L. Foltz & L. E. White Jr. (1962). Pain ‘relief’ by frontal cingulotomy. Journal of Neurosurgery 19, 89100.

R. S. J. Frackowiak , G.-L. Lenzi , T. Jones & J. D. Heather (1980). Quantitative measurement of regional cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism in man using 15O and positron emission tomography: theory, procedure and normal values. Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography 4, 727736.

R. S. J. Frackowiak , C. Pozzilli , N. J. Legg , G. H. Du Boulay , J. Marshall , G. L. Lenzi & T. Jones (1981). Regional cerebral oxygen supply and utilization in dementia. A clinical and physiological study with oxygen-15 and positron tomography. Brain 104, 753778.

K. J. Friston , R. E. Passingham , J. G. Nutt , J. D. Heather , G. V. Sawle & R. S. J. Frackowiak (1989). Localisation in PET images: direct fitting of the intercommissural (AC-PC) line. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 9, 690695.

K. J. Friston , C. D. Frith , P. F. Liddle , R. J. Dolan , A. A. Lammertsma & R. S. J. Frackowiak (1990). The relationship between global and local changes in PET scans. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 10, 458466.

K. J. Friston , C. D. Frith , P. F. Liddle & R. S. J. Frackowiak (1991 a). Plastic transformation of PET images. Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography 15, 634639.

K. J. Friston , C. D. Frith , P. F. Liddle & R. S. J. Frackowiak (1991 b). Comparing functional (PET) images: the assessment of significant change. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 11, 690699.

M. Gabriel , E. Orona , K. Foster & R. W. Lambert (1982). Mechanisms and generality of stimulus significance coding in a mammalian model system. Advances in Behavioural Biology 26, 535567.

S. Gilman , K. Adams , R. A. Koeppe , S. Berent , K. J. Kluin , J. G. Modell , P. Kroll & J. A. Brunberg (1990). Cerebellar and frontal hypometabolism in alcoholic cerebellar degeneration studied with positron emission tomography. Annals of Neurology 28, 775785.

R. E. Gur , B. E. Skolnick , R. C. Gur , S. Caroff , W. Rieger , W. D. Obrist , D. Younkin & M. Reivich (1984). Brain function in psychiatric disorders. 2. Regional cerebral blood flow in medicated unipolar depressives. Archives of General Psychiatry 41, 695699.

L. Gustafson , J. Risberg & P. Silfverskiold (1981 b). Regional cerebral blood flow in organic dementias and affective disorders. Advances in Biological Psychiatry 6, 109116.

V. C. Hachinski , L. D. Iliff , E. Zilhka , G. H. Du Boulay , V. L. McAllister , J. Marshall , R. W. Ross Russell & L. Symon (1975). Cerebral blood flow in dementia. Archives of Neurology 32, 632637.

M. Hamilton (1960). A rating scale for depression. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 23, 5662.

A. House , M. Dennis , C. Warlow , K. Hawton & A. Molyneux (1990). Mood disorders after stroke and their relation to lesion location. A CT scan study. Brain 113, 11131129.

E. Irle (1990). An analysis of the correlation of lesion size, localization and behavioral effects in 283 published studies of cortical and subcortical lesions in old-world monkeys. Brain Research Reviews 15, 181213.

P. F. Liddle , K. J. Friston , C. D. Frith , S. R. Hirsch , T. Jones & R. S. J. Frackowiak (1992). Patterns of cerebral blood flow in schizophrenia. British Journal of Psychiatry 160, 179186.

C. J. Lueck , S. Zeki , K. J. Friston , M.-P. Deiber , P. Cope , V. J. Cunningham , A. A. Lammertsma , C. Kennard & R. S. J. Frackowiak (1989). The colour centre in the cerebral cortex of man. Nature 340, 386389.

A. R. Luria (1970). Traumatic Aphasia. Mouton: The Hague.

M.-M. Mesulam (1983). The functional anatomy and hemispheric specialization for directed attention. Trends in Neuroscience 6, 384387.

M.-M. Mesulam (1986). Frontal cortex and behavior. Annals of Neurology 19, 320325.

M.-M. Mesulam (1990). Large-scale neurocognitive networks and distributed processing for attention, language and memory. Annals of Neurology 28, 597613.

R. C. Oldfield (1971). The assessment and analysis of handedness; the Edinburgh inventory. Neuropsychologia 9, 97113.

J. V. Pardo , P. J. Pardo , K. W. Janer & M. E. Raichle (1990). The anterior cingulate cortex mediates processing selection in the Stroop attentional conflict paradigm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 87, 256259.

E. S. Paykel (1971). Classification of depressed patients: a cluster analysis derived grouping. British Journal of Psychiatry 118, 275288.

M. I. Posner & S. E. Petersen (1990). The attention system of the human brain. Annual Review of Neurosciences 13, 2542.

R. M. Post , L. E. DeLisi , H. H. Holcomb , T. W. Uhde , R. Cohen & M. S. Buchsbaum (1987). Glucose utilization in the temporal cortex of affectively ill patients: positron emission tomography. Biological Psychiatry 22, 545553.

J. Risberg (1980). Regional cerebral blood flow measurements by 133Xe-inhalation: methodology and applications in neuropsychology and psychiatry. Brain Language 9, 934.

R. G. Robinson , L. B. Starr , K. L. Kubos & T. R. Price (1983). A two-year longitudinal study of post-stroke mood disorders: findings during the initial evaluation. Stroke 14, 736741.

R. G. Robinson , K. L. Kubos , L. B. Starr , K. Rao & T. R. Price (1984). Mood disorders in stroke patients. Importance of location of lesion. Brain 107, 8191.

H. A. Sackeim , I. Prohovnik , J. R. Moeller , R. P. Brown , S. Apter , J. Prudic , D. P. Devanand & S. Mukherjee (1990). Regional cerebral blood flow in mood disorders. I. Comparison of major depressives and normal controls at rest. Archives of General Psychiatry 47, 6070.

T. Sawaguchi & P. S. Goldman-Rakic (1991). D1 dopamine receptors in prefrontal cortex: involvement in working memory. Science 251, 947950.

J. M. Schwartz , L. R. Baxter , J. C. Mazziotta , R. H. Gerner & M. E. Phelps (1987). The differential diagnosis of depression. Relevance of positron emission tomography studies of cerebral glucose metabolism to the bipolar–unipolar dichotomy. Journal of the American Medical Association 258, 13681374.

P. Silfverskiold & J. Risberg (1989). Regional cerebral blood flow in depression and mania. Archives of General Psychiatry 46, 253259.

P. Silfverskiold , I. Rosen , J. Risberg & L. Gustafson (1987). Changes in psychiatric symptoms related to EEG and cerebral blood flow following electroconclusive therapy in depression. European Archives of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 236, 195201.

T. J. Spinks , T. Jones , M. C. Gilardi & J. D. Heather (1988). Physical performance of the latest generation of commercial positron scanner. IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 35, 721725.

J. D. Talbot , S. Marrett , A. C. Evans , E. Meyer , M. C. Bushnell & G. H. Duncan (1991). Multiple representations of pain in human cerebral cortex. Science 251, 13551358.

P. Uytedenhoef , P. Portelange , J. Jacquy , G. Charles , P. Linkowski & J. Mendlewicz (1983). Regional cerebral blood flow and lateralised hemispheric dysfunction in depression. British Journal of Psychiatry 143, 128132.

L. R. Warren , R. W. Butler , C. R. Katholi , C. E. McFarland , E. L. Crews & J. H. Halsey Jr., (1984). Focal changes in cerebral blood flow produced by monetary incentive during a mental mathematics task in normal and depressed subjects. Brain Cognition 3, 7185.

D. R. Weinberg , K. F. Berman & B. P. Illowsky (1988). Physiological dysfunction of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. III. A new cohort and evidence for a monoaminergic mechanism. Archives of General Psychiatry 45, 609615.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 36 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 186 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.