An Emotional Go/No-Go fMRI study in adolescents with depressive symptoms following concussion
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BACKGROUND: Following concussion, adolescents may experience both poor inhibitory control and increased depressive symptoms. fMRI research suggests that adolescents with major depressive disorder have abnormal physiological responses in the frontostriatal pathway, and exhibit poorer inhibitory control in the presence of negatively-aroused images. The scarcity of information surrounding depression following concussion in adolescents makes it difficult to identify patients at risk of depression after injury. This is the first study to examine neural activity patterns in adolescents with post-concussive depressive symptoms. PURPOSE: To explore the effect of depressive symptoms on inhibitory control in adolescents with concussion in the presence of emotional stimuli using fMRI. METHODS: Using a prospective cohort design, 30 adolescents diagnosed with concussion between 10 and 17years were recruited. The Children's Depression Inventory questionnaire was used to divide participants into two groups: average or elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Participants completed an Emotional Go/No-Go task involving angry or neutral faces in a 3Telsa MRI scanner. RESULTS: Eleven participants had elevated depressive symptoms, of which 72% were hit in the occipital region of the head at the time of injury. fMRI results from the Emotional Go/No-Go task revealed activity patterns in the overall sample. Faces activated regions associated with both facial and cognitive processing. However, frontal regions that are usually associated with inhibitory control were not activated. Adolescents with elevated levels of depressive symptoms engaged more frontal lobe regions during the task than the average group. They also showed a trend towards worse symptoms following MRI scanning. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with elevated depressive symptoms engaged brain regions subserving evaluative processing of social interactions. This finding provides insight into the role the environment plays in contributing to the cognitive demands placed on adolescents recovering from concussion.
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