Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in adolescence, and is characterised by an inability to down-regulate negative emotional responses to stress. Adult studies suggest this may be associated with reduced functional connectivity between prefrontal and subcortical regions, yet the neurological mechanisms in adolescence remain unclear. METHODS: We developed a novel, age-appropriate, reappraisal paradigm to investigate functional connectivity during reappraisal of a real-life source of stress in 15 depressed and 15 non-depressed adolescents. During fMRI, participants i) attended to, and ii) implemented reappraisal techniques (learnt prior to fMRI) in response to, rejection. RESULTS: Reappraisal reduced negative mood and belief in negative thoughts in both groups alike, however during reappraisal (versus attend) trials, depressed adolescents showed greater connectivity between the right frontal pole and numerous subcortical and cortical regions than non-depressed adolescents. CONCLUSIONS: These findings tentatively suggest that, when instructed, depressed adolescents do have the ability to engage neural networks involved in emotion regulation, possibly because adolescence reflects a period of heightened plasticity. These data support the value of cognitive reappraisal as a treatment tool, identify neural markers that could be used to optimise current therapies, and lay the foundations for developing novel neuroscientific techniques for the treatment of adolescent depression.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.11.016

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Psychiatr Res

Publication Date

02/2015

Volume

61

Pages

73 - 80

Keywords

Brain imaging, Cognitive training, Developmental psychopathology, Emotion regulation, Mood disorder, Adolescent, Affect, Brain, Brain Mapping, Case-Control Studies, Cognition, Depressive Disorder, Major, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Peer Group, Rejection (Psychology)