Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

A review of white matter microstructure alterations of pathways of the reward circuit in depression

Bracht, Tobias, Linden, David Edmund Johannes ORCID: and Keedwell, Paul Anthony 2015. A review of white matter microstructure alterations of pathways of the reward circuit in depression. Journal of affective disorders 187 , pp. 45-53. 10.1016/j.jad.2015.06.041

[thumbnail of Bracht et al 2015.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (980kB) | Preview


BACKGROUND: Depressed mood, anhedonia, psychomotor retardation and alterations of circadian rhythm are core features of the depressive syndrome. Its neural correlates can be located within a frontal-striatal-tegmental neural network, commonly referred to as the reward circuit. It is the aim of this article to review literature on white matter microstructure alterations of the reward system in depression. METHOD: We searched for diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-studies that have explored neural deficits within the cingulum bundle, the uncinate fasciculus and the supero-lateral medial forebrain bundle/anterior thalamic radiation - in adolescent and adult depression (acute and remitted), melancholic depression, treatment-resistant depression and those at familial risk of depression. The relevant diffusion MRI literature was identified using PUBMED. RESULTS: Thirty-five studies were included. In people at familial risk for depression the main finding was reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) in the cingulum bundle. Both increases and decreases of FA have been reported in the uncinate fasciculus in adolescents. Reductions of FA in the uncinate fasciculus and the anterior thalamic radiation/supero-lateral medial forebrain bundle during acute depressive episodes in adults were most consistently reported. LIMITATIONS: Non-quantitative approach. CONCLUSIONS: Altered cingulum bundle microstructure in unaffected relatives may either indicate resilience or vulnerability to depression. Uncinate fasciculus and supero-lateral medial forebrain bundle microstructure may be altered during depressive episodes in adult MDD. Future studies call for a careful clinical stratification of clinically meaningful subgroups.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-0327
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 24 June 2015
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 18:13

Citation Data

Cited 98 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics