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Brain Aging in Major Depressive Disorder: Results from the ENIGMA Major Depressive Disorder working group
Laura KM Han,
Geraldo Busatto Filho,
Marie-Jose van Tol,
Nic van der Wee,
Steven van der Werff,
Greig de Zubicaray,
Posted 26 Feb 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/560623
Posted 26 Feb 2019
Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with an increased risk of brain atrophy, aging-related diseases, and mortality. We examined potential advanced brain aging in MDD patients, and whether this process is associated with clinical characteristics in a large multi-center international dataset. Methods: We performed a mega-analysis by pooling brain measures derived from T1-weighted MRI scans from 29 samples worldwide. Normative brain aging was estimated by predicting chronological age (10-75 years) from 7 subcortical volumes, 34 cortical thickness and 34 surface area, lateral ventricles and total intracranial volume measures separately in 1,147 male and 1,386 female controls from the ENIGMA MDD working group. The learned model parameters were applied to 1,089 male controls and 1,167 depressed males, and 1,326 female controls and 2,044 depressed females to obtain independent unbiased brain-based age predictions. The difference between predicted brain age and chronological age was calculated to indicate brain predicted age difference (brain-PAD). Findings: On average, MDD patients showed a higher brain-PAD of +0.90 (SE 0.21) years (Cohen's d=0.12, 95% CI 0.06-0.17) compared to controls. Relative to controls, first-episode and currently depressed patients showed higher brain-PAD (+1.2 [0.3] years), and the largest effect was observed in those with late-onset depression (+1.7 [0.7] years). In addition, higher brain-PAD was associated with higher self-reported depressive symptomatology (b=0.05, p=0.004). Interpretation: This highly powered collaborative effort showed subtle patterns of abnormal structural brain aging in MDD. Substantial within-group variance and overlap between groups were observed. Longitudinal studies of MDD and somatic health outcomes are needed to further assess the predictive value of these brain-PAD estimates.
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