Study Report

CitationFairhall, 2010 PubMed
Full InfoFairhall, S.L., Sharma, S., Magnusson, J. and Murphy, B. (2010) Memory related dysregulation of hippocampal function in major depressive disorder. Biol Psychol, 85, 499-503.

Hypothesis or Background Hippocampal abnormalities have frequently been associated with major depressive disorder (MDD), however evidence of a functional hippocampal deficit has remained illusive.
Sample InformationEight outpatients with a clinical diagnoses of MDD and no other co-existing DSM-IV Axis I disorders (four female, mean age 25.9) were compared with eight healthy controls of similar ages (five female, mean age 29.6).
Method DetailHere, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is employed in conjunction with an associative memory paradigm to investigate functional irregularities of the hippocampus during the encoding process.
Method Keywordsfunctional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
ResultThe use of a focussed analytical approach and a behavioural task targeted to hippocampal function confirmed the hypothesis that the normal modulation of hippocampal activation by encoding strength is dysregulated in MDD. Further analysis demonstrated that this impairment of function was specific to the hippocampus. A double dissociation between groups in the hippocampus and intraparietal sulcus indicates that compensatory mechanisms may exist.
ConclusionsThese results show that MDD is associated with a dysregulation of hippocampal function that cannot be explained in terms of overall brain state or motivational stance and provides an important link between memory impairments and hippocampal changes in MDD.

Relationships reported by Fairhall, 2010