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Exploring the Effects of Temperament on Gray Matter Volume of Frontal Cortex in Patients with Mood Disorders

Authors Yang T, Lam RW, Huang J, Su Y, Liu J, Yang X, Yang L, Zhu N, Zhao G, Mao R, Zhou R, Xia W, Liu H, Wang Z, Chen J, Fang Y

Received 17 October 2020

Accepted for publication 14 December 2020

Published 22 January 2021 Volume 2021:17 Pages 183—193

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S287351

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning


Tao Yang,1,2 Raymond W Lam,2 Jia Huang,1 Yousong Su,1 Jing Liu,2 Xiaorui Yang,1 Lu Yang,1 Na Zhu,3 Guoqing Zhao,4 Ruizhi Mao,1 Rubai Zhou,1 Weiping Xia,5 Hongmei Liu,1 Zuowei Wang,6 Jun Chen,1 Yiru Fang1,7,8

1Clinical Research Center & Division of Mood Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 3Shanghai Pudong New Area Mental Health Center, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Psychology, Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, People’s Republic of China; 5Department of Medical Psychology, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 6Division of Mood Disorders, Shanghai Hongkou District Mental Health Center, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 7CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 8Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Yiru Fang
Clinical Research Center & Division of Mood Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Room B2409, Building 2, 600 South Wan Ping Road, Shanghai 200030, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 139 0199 7089
Email yirufang@aliyun.com
Jun Chen
Clinical Research Center & Division of Mood Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Room B2411, Building 2, 600 South Wan Ping Road, Shanghai 200030, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 180 1731 1373
Email doctorcj2010@gmail.com

Background: Patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have relatively specific temperament and structural abnormalities of brain regions related to emotion and cognition. However, the effects of temperament factors on the structure of frontal and temporal cortex is still unclear. The aims of this study were to explore the differences and relationships between temperament characteristics and the gray matter volume of frontal and temporal cortex in patients with BD or MDD.
Methods: T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, demographic and clinical information were obtained from 279 depressed patients (90 patients with BD, 189 patients with MDD) and 162 healthy controls (HC). Temperament was assessed with the Chinese short version of Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa and San Diego – Auto questionnaire (TEMPS-A). The Desikan-Killiany atlas was used for yielding gray matter volume by FreeSurfer 6.0 software suite. A total of 22 frontal and temporal regions were chosen as regions of interest (ROIs).
Results: Compared with patients with MDD, patients with BD had higher TEMPS-A total scores and scores on cyclothymic, irritable and hyperthymic subscales. The gray matter volume in bilateral rostral middle frontal gyrus (RMFG), left temporal pole and right superior frontal gyrus were reduced in patients with BD. Patients with MDD only had lower gray matter volume in bilateral temporal pole. In the pooled patients, there were negative associations between hyperthymia and gray matter volume in right RMFG.
Conclusion: Patients with BD and MDD had different temperament characteristics. The prominent temperament subscales in patients with BD were cyclothymia, irritable and hyperthymia. Patients with greater hyperthymia had lower gray matter volume in right frontal gyrus. Temperament may reflect an endophenotype in patients with mood disorders, especially in BD.

Keywords: bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, temperament, gray matter volume

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