Jul 30 2015
Non-clinical depressive symptoms (nCDSs) are highly prevalent in young adults and may be associated with the risk of developing full-fledged depressive disorders. However, the neural basis underlying nCDSs remains unknown. To explore the alteration of spontaneous brain activity in individuals with nCDSs compared with healthy controls (HCs), we investigated resting-state brain activity using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) in subjects with nCDSs (n=17) and HCs (n=20). All subjects were drawn from a sample of 1105 college students participating in a survey assessing depressive symptoms. We determined that nCDSs can lead to reduced ALFF in the right ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and to increased ALFF in the left fusiform, left posterior cerebellum, right cuneus, left inferior parietal lobule, right supramarginal gyrus and bilateral precuneus. In addition, with respect to Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores and ALFF values in subjects with nCDSs, a positive correlation was discovered in the right DLPFC, while a negative correlation was identified in left posterior cerebellum and bilateral precuneus after correction. These results indicate that nCDSs are characterized by altered spontaneous activity in several important functional regions. We suggest that altered ALFFs in the right DLPFC, left posterior cerebellum and bilateral precuneus may be biomarkers that are related to the pathophysiology of nCDSs in young adults.