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Computational meta-analysis of statistical parametric maps in major depression

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sean Colloby, Professor John O'Brien, Professor Alan ThomasORCiD


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ObjectiveSeveral neuroimaging meta-analyses have summarized structural brain changes in major depression using coordinate-based methods. These methods might be biased toward brain regions where significant differences were found in the original studies. In this study, a novel voxel-based technique is implemented that estimates and meta-analyses between-group differences in grey matter from individual MRI studies, which are then applied to the study of major depression.MethodsA systematic review and meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies were conducted comparing participants with major depression and healthy controls by using statistical parametric maps. Summary effect sizes were computed correcting for multiple comparisons at the voxel level. Publication bias and heterogeneity were also estimated and the excess of heterogeneity was investigated with metaregression analyses.ResultsPatients with major depression were characterized by diffuse bilateral grey matter loss in ventrolateral and ventromedial frontal systems extending into temporal gyri compared to healthy controls. Grey matter reduction was also detected in the right parahippocampal and fusiform gyri, hippocampus, and bilateral thalamus. Other areas included parietal lobes and cerebellum. There was no evidence of statistically significant publication bias or heterogeneity.ConclusionsThe novel computational meta-analytic approach used in this study identified extensive grey matter loss in key brain regions implicated in emotion generation and regulation. Results are not biased toward the findings of the original studies because they include all available imaging data, irrespective of statistically significant regions, resulting in enhanced detection of additional areas of grey matter loss. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1393-1404, 2016. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Arnone D, Job D, Selvaraj S, Abe O, Amico F, Cheng YQ, Colloby SJ, O'Brien JT, Frodl T, Gotlib IH, Ham BJ, Kim MJ, Koolschijn PCM, Perico CAM, Salvadore G, Thomas AJ, Van Tol MJ, van der Wee NJA, Veltman DJ, Wagner G, McIntosh AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Brain Mapping

Year: 2016

Volume: 37

Issue: 4

Pages: 1393-1404

Print publication date: 01/04/2016

Online publication date: 08/02/2016

Acceptance date: 19/12/2015

ISSN (print): 1065-9471

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0193

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23108


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Funder referenceFunder name
104036/Z/14/ZWellcome Trust
AMS-SGCL8Academy of Medical Sciences