Subtypes of Rumination Associated with White Matter Integrity in Women with Depression


Recent studies have begun to examine white matter connectivity aberrations in psychiatric populations, such as major depressive disorder. Several studies have found reduced white matter integrity (WMI) in depressed samples, though the location of this reduction is not clear. Incorporating symptom measures of depression severity and rumination may allow for increased identification and localization of aberrant WMI in this heterogeneous disorder. This study examined WMI, specifically fractional anisotropy (FA), using diffusion tensor imaging in a sample of depressed adult women (N=45). The relationship between depression severity and subscales of rumination with fractional anisotropy in six tracts were analyzed, including the bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculus, bilateral uncinate fasciculus, and bilateral cingulum bundle. Increased reflective rumination was associated with increased FA in the right cingulum bundle and left uncinate fasciculus. Additionally, post-hoc analyses considered other measures of WMI in those two tracts. Results found that depression rumination and brooding rumination were associated with aberrant WMI in the left uncinate fasciculus. Findings from this study offer a unique understanding of how white matter integrity in prefrontal, temporal, and limbic regions may be associated with different forms of rumination in women diagnosed with major depression.

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