Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Original Article

Left Cerebral Cortex Complexity in Patients with Major Depression Disorder: A Small-Sample Pilot Study


Department of Psychiatry, Tianjin Anding Hospital, Tianjin Mental Health Center, Tianjin, China


Department of Psychiatry, School of Mental Health, Jining Medical University, Jining, Shandong Province, China


Department of Psychiatry, Wenzhou Seventh People’s Hospital, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China


Key Laboratory of Sensory Processing Disturbance of Mental Disorder (LSPDMD_Laboratory), Tianjin Fourth Central Hospital, Tianjin, China

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2021; 31: 245-251
DOI: 10.5152/pcp.2021.20060
Read: 598 Downloads: 211 Published: 03 August 2021

Objective: To investigate cerebral cortical complexity (CCC) in patients with first-episode, drug-naive major depressive disorder (MDD) with source-based morphometry (SBM) analyses.

Methods: We used the SBM parameters gyrification index (GI) and fractal dimension (FD) to evaluate CCC in 14 first-episode, drug-naive patients diagnosed with MDD. The severity of depression symptoms was assessed with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD-17). GI and FD alterations in the MDD group, relative to healthy controls (HCs), were correlated with depression symptom severity with GI/FD.

Results: Increased GIs in the MDD group, relative to HCs, were found mainly in the left postcentral gyrus, whereas GI reductions were found in the left angular gyrus, left lingual gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, and left insular cortex. Increased FDs in the MDD group, relative to HCs, were located in the superior frontal gyrus. In contrast, decreased FDs were located in the left superior temporal gyrus and left superior frontal gyrus.

Conclusion: Although the group differences in GI and FD values obtained did not withstand familywise error (FWE) correction, the results show a consistent trend of alterations in left-hemisphere CCC in first-episode, drug-naive patients diagnosed with MDD. These findings support the hypothesis that there is a pattern of subtle neocortical aberrations in early-stage MDD.

Cite this article as: Chen X, Liu C, Chen M, et al. Left cerebral cortex complexity in patients with major depression disorder: A smallsample pilot study. Psychiatr Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021;31(3):245-251.

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