Associations Between Daily Affective Instability and Connectomics in Functional Subnetworks in Remitted Patients with Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder

Michelle N. Servaas*, Harriette Riese, Remco J. Renken, Marieke Wichers, Jojanneke A. Bastiaansen, Caroline A. Figueroa, Hanneke Geugies, Roel J. T. Mocking, Linda Geerligs, Jan-Bernard C. Marsman, André Aleman, Aart H. Schene, Robert A. Schoevers, Henricus G. Ruhe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Remitted patients with major depressive disorder (rMDD) often report more fluctuations in mood as residual symptomatology. It is unclear how this affective instability is associated with information processing related to the default mode (DMS), salience/reward (SRS), and frontoparietal (FPS) subnetworks in rMDD patients at high risk of recurrence (rrMDD). Sixty-two unipolar, drug-free rrMDD patients (>= 2 MDD episodes) and 41 healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. We used experience sampling methodology to monitor mood/cognitions (10 times a day for 6 days) and calculated affective instability using the mean adjusted absolute successive difference. Subsequently, we collected resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data and performed graph theory to obtain network metrics of integration within (local efficiency) the DMS, SRS, and FPS, and between (participation coefficient) these subnetworks and others. In rrMDD patients compared with HCs, we found that affective instability was increased in most negative mood/cognition variables and that the DMS had less connections with other subnetworks. Furthermore, we found that rrMDD patients, who showed more instability in feeling down and irritated, had less connections between the SRS and other subnetworks and higher local efficiency coefficients in the FPS, respectively. In conclusion, rrMDD patients, compared with HCs, are less stable in their negative mood and these dynamics are related to differences in information processing within-and between-specific functional subnetworks. These results are a first step to gain a better understanding of how mood fluctuations in real life are represented in the brain and provide insights into the vulnerability profile of MDD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2583-2592
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2017



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