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The prognosis and changes of regional brain gray matter volume in MDD with gastrointestinal symptoms

Authors Liu P, Li G, Zhang A, Sun N, Kang L, Yang C, Wang Y, Zhang K

Received 6 December 2018

Accepted for publication 8 April 2019

Published 9 May 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 1181—1191


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jun Chen

Penghong Liu,1,2 Gaizhi Li,1 Aixia Zhang,1 Ning Sun,1 Lijun Kang,2 Chunxia Yang,1 Yanfang Wang,1 Kerang Zhang1

1Department of Psychiatry, First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Psychiatry, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, 030001, People’s Republic of China

Objective: It is common that major depressive disorder (MDD) is accompanied by gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. However, few studies have focused on the clinical characteristics and its possible mechanism, while brain gray matter (GM) structure is important in the pathogenesis of GI symptoms. In this study, we aimed to investigate the basic clinical characteristics and regional GM volume changes in MDD accompanied by GI symptoms.
Method: Patients with MDD (n=49) and age, gender, and educational level-matched healthy controls (n=30) were recruited. Patients with MDD were divided into two groups based on the GI status: MDD with (n=27) and without (n=22) GI symptoms. The 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) was administered. T1-weighted anatomical images were obtained and analyzed. Correlation analysis was used to identify the possible associations between changed regional GM volume and GI symptoms and depressive symptoms.
Results: The HAMD reductive ratio for 2 weeks of treatment in the GI symptoms group was significantly higher than the non-GI symptoms group (P<0.05). The regional GM volume showed significant differences among the three groups (Gaussian Random Field [GRF] correction, voxel-P<0.01, cluster-P <0.05). Compared with non-GI symptoms group, GI symptoms group exhibited significantly increased GM volume in the left hippocampus, left parahippocampal gyrus, right parahippocampal gyrus; and decreased GM volume in the right middle frontal gyrus, right precentral gyrus, right cuneus, right precuneus, right superior occipital gyrus (GRF correction, voxel-P <0.01, cluster-P <0.05). These altered brain areas were correlated with the GI symptoms, not depressive symptoms.
Conclusion: The changed regional brain GM volume in GI-MDD group may be the pathogenesis for the GI symptoms. In addition, the GI symptoms may predict the prognosis of MDD.

Keywords: major depressive disorder, gastrointestinal symptoms, clinical characters, gray matter volume

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