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Real-time FMRI neurofeedback training of amygdala activity in patients with major depressive disorder.

Young KD, Zotev V, Phillips R, Misaki M, Yuan H, Drevets WC, Bodurka J - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Significant pre-post scan decreases in anxiety ratings and increases in happiness ratings were evident in the experimental versus control group.A whole brain analysis showed that during the transfer run, participants in the experimental group had increased activity compared to the control group in left superior temporal gyrus and temporal polar cortex, and right thalamus.Using rtfMRI-nf from the left amygdala during recall of positive AMs, depressed subjects were able to self-regulate their amygdala response, resulting in improved mood.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Background: Amygdala hemodynamic responses to positive stimuli are attenuated in major depressive disorder (MDD), and normalize with remission. Real-time functional MRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-nf) offers a non-invasive method to modulate this regional activity. We examined whether depressed participants can use rtfMRI-nf to enhance amygdala responses to positive autobiographical memories, and whether this ability alters symptom severity.

Methods: Unmedicated MDD subjects were assigned to receive rtfMRI-nf from either left amygdala (LA; experimental group, n = 14) or the horizontal segment of the intraparietal sulcus (HIPS; control group, n = 7) and instructed to contemplate happy autobiographical memories (AMs) to raise the level of a bar representing the hemodynamic signal from the target region to a target level. This 40s Happy condition alternated with 40s blocks of rest and counting backwards. A final Transfer run without neurofeedback information was included.

Results: Participants in the experimental group upregulated their amygdala responses during positive AM recall. Significant pre-post scan decreases in anxiety ratings and increases in happiness ratings were evident in the experimental versus control group. A whole brain analysis showed that during the transfer run, participants in the experimental group had increased activity compared to the control group in left superior temporal gyrus and temporal polar cortex, and right thalamus.

Conclusions: Using rtfMRI-nf from the left amygdala during recall of positive AMs, depressed subjects were able to self-regulate their amygdala response, resulting in improved mood. Results from this proof-of-concept study suggest that rtfMRI-nf training with positive AM recall holds potential as a novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of depression.

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Group differences in BOLD activity during the Transfer Run.Regions A) Left Superior Temporal Gyrus B) Left Temporal Pole C) Right Thalamus and associated percent signal change graphs, are shown where groups had differential activation during Happy AM recall vs Rest during the Transfer run in which no neurofeedback was provided. Error bars indicate +/1 one standard deviation of the mean.
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pone-0088785-g004: Group differences in BOLD activity during the Transfer Run.Regions A) Left Superior Temporal Gyrus B) Left Temporal Pole C) Right Thalamus and associated percent signal change graphs, are shown where groups had differential activation during Happy AM recall vs Rest during the Transfer run in which no neurofeedback was provided. Error bars indicate +/1 one standard deviation of the mean.

Mentions: Results of fMRI data analysis for TR appear in Table 4. For the Happy versus Count contrast, the experimental group showed increased BOLD activity during positive AM recall within bilateral orbitofrontal cortex, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal and middle temporal gyrus, left ACC, posterior cingulate cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and amygdala (encompassing the amygdala ROI) and right VLPFC and thalamus. The experimental group had increased activity during counting compared to positive AM recall in bilateral middle frontal gyrus, and inferior parietal lobe. When we compared regional BOLD activity between the Happy versus Rest conditions between the experimental and control groups during TR, the experimental group had increased activity in left superior temporal gyrus and temporal pole, and right thalamus (Figure 4).


Real-time FMRI neurofeedback training of amygdala activity in patients with major depressive disorder.

Young KD, Zotev V, Phillips R, Misaki M, Yuan H, Drevets WC, Bodurka J - PLoS ONE (2014)

Group differences in BOLD activity during the Transfer Run.Regions A) Left Superior Temporal Gyrus B) Left Temporal Pole C) Right Thalamus and associated percent signal change graphs, are shown where groups had differential activation during Happy AM recall vs Rest during the Transfer run in which no neurofeedback was provided. Error bars indicate +/1 one standard deviation of the mean.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3921228&req=5

pone-0088785-g004: Group differences in BOLD activity during the Transfer Run.Regions A) Left Superior Temporal Gyrus B) Left Temporal Pole C) Right Thalamus and associated percent signal change graphs, are shown where groups had differential activation during Happy AM recall vs Rest during the Transfer run in which no neurofeedback was provided. Error bars indicate +/1 one standard deviation of the mean.
Mentions: Results of fMRI data analysis for TR appear in Table 4. For the Happy versus Count contrast, the experimental group showed increased BOLD activity during positive AM recall within bilateral orbitofrontal cortex, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal and middle temporal gyrus, left ACC, posterior cingulate cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and amygdala (encompassing the amygdala ROI) and right VLPFC and thalamus. The experimental group had increased activity during counting compared to positive AM recall in bilateral middle frontal gyrus, and inferior parietal lobe. When we compared regional BOLD activity between the Happy versus Rest conditions between the experimental and control groups during TR, the experimental group had increased activity in left superior temporal gyrus and temporal pole, and right thalamus (Figure 4).

Bottom Line: Significant pre-post scan decreases in anxiety ratings and increases in happiness ratings were evident in the experimental versus control group.A whole brain analysis showed that during the transfer run, participants in the experimental group had increased activity compared to the control group in left superior temporal gyrus and temporal polar cortex, and right thalamus.Using rtfMRI-nf from the left amygdala during recall of positive AMs, depressed subjects were able to self-regulate their amygdala response, resulting in improved mood.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Background: Amygdala hemodynamic responses to positive stimuli are attenuated in major depressive disorder (MDD), and normalize with remission. Real-time functional MRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-nf) offers a non-invasive method to modulate this regional activity. We examined whether depressed participants can use rtfMRI-nf to enhance amygdala responses to positive autobiographical memories, and whether this ability alters symptom severity.

Methods: Unmedicated MDD subjects were assigned to receive rtfMRI-nf from either left amygdala (LA; experimental group, n = 14) or the horizontal segment of the intraparietal sulcus (HIPS; control group, n = 7) and instructed to contemplate happy autobiographical memories (AMs) to raise the level of a bar representing the hemodynamic signal from the target region to a target level. This 40s Happy condition alternated with 40s blocks of rest and counting backwards. A final Transfer run without neurofeedback information was included.

Results: Participants in the experimental group upregulated their amygdala responses during positive AM recall. Significant pre-post scan decreases in anxiety ratings and increases in happiness ratings were evident in the experimental versus control group. A whole brain analysis showed that during the transfer run, participants in the experimental group had increased activity compared to the control group in left superior temporal gyrus and temporal polar cortex, and right thalamus.

Conclusions: Using rtfMRI-nf from the left amygdala during recall of positive AMs, depressed subjects were able to self-regulate their amygdala response, resulting in improved mood. Results from this proof-of-concept study suggest that rtfMRI-nf training with positive AM recall holds potential as a novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of depression.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus