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Disrupted small world topology and modular organisation of functional networks in late-life depression with and without amnestic mild cognitive impairment. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2015 Oct;86(10):1097-105



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84942234881   40 Citations


BACKGROUND: The topological architecture of the whole-brain functional networks in those with and without late-life depression (LLD) and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are unknown.

AIMS: To investigate the differences in the small-world measures and the modular community structure of the functional networks between patients with LLD and aMCI when occurring alone or in combination and cognitively healthy non-depressed controls.

METHODS: 79 elderly participants (LLD (n=23), aMCI (n=18), comorbid LLD and aMCI (n=13), and controls (n=25)) completed neuropsychiatric assessments. Graph theoretical methods were employed on resting-state functional connectivity MRI data.

RESULTS: LLD and aMCI comorbidity was associated with the greatest disruptions in functional integration measures (decreased global efficiency and increased path length); both LLD groups showed abnormal functional segregation (reduced local efficiency). The modular network organisation was most variable in the comorbid group, followed by patients with LLD-only. Decreased mean global, local and nodal efficiency metrics were associated with greater depressive symptom severity but not memory performance.

CONCLUSIONS: Considering the whole brain as a complex network may provide unique insights on the neurobiological underpinnings of LLD with and without cognitive impairment.

Author List

Li W, Douglas Ward B, Liu X, Chen G, Jones JL, Antuono PG, Li SJ, Goveas JS


Piero G. Antuono MD Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Joseph S. Goveas MD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Antidepressive Agents
Cognition Disorders
Cognitive Dysfunction
Depressive Disorder
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Nerve Net
Nootropic Agents
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales