Reduced activation in lateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate during attention and cognitive control functions in medication-naïve adolescents with depression compared to controls

Rozmin Halari, Mima Simic, Carmine M. Pariante, Andrew Papadopoulos, Anthony Cleare, Michael Brammer, Eric Fombonne, Katya Rubia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: There is increasing recognition of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescence. In adult MDD, abnormalities of fronto-striatal and fronto-cingulate circuitries mediating cognitive control functions have been implicated in the pathogenesis and been related to problems with controlling negative thoughts. No neuroimaging studies of cognitive control functions, however, exist in paediatric depression. This study investigated whether medication-nai've adolescents with MDD show abnormal brain activation of fronto-striatal and fronto-cingulate networks when performing tasks of attentional and cognitive control. Methods: Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare brain activation between 21 medication-na'ive adolescents with a first-episode of MDD aged 14-17 years and 21 healthy adolescents, matched for handedness, age, sex, demographics and IQ. Activation paradigms were tasks of selective attention (Simon task), attentional switching (Switch task), and motor response inhibition and error detection (Stop task). Results: In all three tasks, adolescents with depression compared to healthy controls demonstrated reduced activation in task-relevant right dorsolateral (DLPFC), inferior prefrontal cortex (IFC) and anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG). Additional areas of relatively reduced activation were in the parietal lobes during the Stop and Switch tasks, putamen, insula and temporal lobes during the Switch task and precuneus during the Simon task. Conclusions: This study shows first evidence that medication-nai-ve adolescents with MDD are characterised by abnormal function in ACG and right lateral prefrontal cortex during tasks of attention and performance monitoring, suggesting an early pathogenesis of these functional abnormalities attributed to MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-316
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 18 2009

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Cognitive control
  • Depression
  • Executive functions
  • FMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reduced activation in lateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate during attention and cognitive control functions in medication-naïve adolescents with depression compared to controls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this