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Adolescent Major Depressive Disorder: Neuroimaging Evidence of Sex Difference during an Affective Go/No-Go Task

Chuang, Jie-Yu and Hagan, Cindy C. and Murray, Graham K. and Graham, Julia M. E. and Ooi, Cinly and Tait, Roger and Holt, Rosemary J. and Elliott, Rebecca and van Nieuwenhuizen, Adrienne O. and Bullmore, Edward T. and Lennox, Belinda R. and Sahakian, Barbara J. and Goodyer, Ian M. and Suckling, John (2017) Adolescent Major Depressive Disorder: Neuroimaging Evidence of Sex Difference during an Affective Go/No-Go Task. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 8 . Art. No. 19. ISSN 1664-0640. PMCID PMC5504124. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00119.

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Compared to female major depressive disorder (MDD), male MDD often receives less attention. However, research is warranted since there are significant sex differences in the clinical presentation of MDD and a higher rate of suicide in depressed men. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study with a large sample addressing putative sex differences in MDD during adolescence, a period when one of the most robust findings in psychiatric epidemiology emerges; that females are twice as likely to suffer from MDD than males. Twenty-four depressed and 10 healthy male adolescents, together with 82 depressed and 24 healthy female adolescents, aged 11–18 years, undertook an affective go/no-go task during fMRI acquisition. In response to sad relative to neutral distractors, significant sex differences (in the supramarginal gyrus) and group-by-sex interactions (in the supramarginal gyrus and the posterior cingulate cortex) were found. Furthermore, in contrast to the healthy male adolescents, depressed male adolescents showed decreased activation in the cerebellum with a significant group-by-age interaction in connectivity. Future research may consider altered developmental trajectories and the possible implications of sex-specific treatment and prevention strategies for MDD.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Hagan, Cindy C.0000-0002-4576-7120
Additional Information:© 2017 Chuang, Hagan, Murray, Graham, Ooi, Tait, Holt, Elliott, van Nieuwenhuizen, Bullmore, Lennox, Sahakian, Goodyer and Suckling. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Received: 07 March 2017; Accepted: 22 June 2017; Published: 11 July 2017. The authors appreciate technical help from Dr. Peter Watson, Dr. Anderson M. Winkler, and Dr. Stuart Rankin. This work was performed using the Darwin Supercomputer of the University of Cambridge High Performance Computing Service (, provided by Dell Inc. using Strategic Research Infrastructure Funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council. The study was funded by the Medical Research Council (grant: G0802226). The IMPACT clinical trial was funded by the NHS Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme, Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust, and the Cambridge and Peterborough Mental Health Trust. Additional support was provided by the jointly funded Medical Research Council/Wellcome Trust Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, University of Cambridge, and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Medical Research Council (UK)G0802226
National Health Service TrustUNSPECIFIED
Cambridge and Peterborough Mental Health TrustUNSPECIFIED
University of CambridgeUNSPECIFIED
National Institute for Health ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:adolescent major depressive disorder, affective go/no-go task, cerebellum, supramarginal gyrus, sex difference
PubMed Central ID:PMC5504124
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170728-105735323
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Chuang J-Y, Hagan CC, Murray GK, Graham JME, Ooi C, Tait R, Holt RJ, Elliott R, van Nieuwenhuizen AO, Bullmore ET, Lennox BR, Sahakian BJ, Goodyer IM and Suckling J (2017) Adolescent Major Depressive Disorder: Neuroimaging Evidence of Sex Difference during an Affective Go/No-Go Task. Front. Psychiatry 8:119. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00119
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79539
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:28 Jul 2017 23:24
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 17:48

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