Is resting state frontal alpha connectivity asymmetry a useful index to assess depressive symptoms? A preliminary investigation in a sample of university students

Giacomo Della Marca, Claudio Imperatori, Benedetto Farina, Enrico Maria Valenti, Alessia Di Poce, Sofia D'Ari, Elena De Rossi, Cristina Murgia, Giuseppe Alessio Carbone, Chiara Massullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA) has been widely investigated in depressive disorders (DDs) with contradictory and not conclusive results. The main aim of the current study was to explore the association between a new neurophysiological index, the so-called frontal alpha connectivity asymmetry index (FACA-I), and depressive symptoms. Methods: One hundred and thirteen participants (45 men and 68 women, mean age: 22.83 ± 2.26 years) were enrolled. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings were performed during 5 min of resting state (RS). FACA-I was computed by subtracting connectivity at left frontal regions from right frontal regions and dividing by their sum. RS FAA were also computed and compared to the FACA-I in all analyses. Results: After controlling for the presence of potential confounding variables (i.e., sex, age and anxiety symptoms), only FACA-I scores between medial prefrontal cortex and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex were negatively associated with both somatic and cognitive/affective depressive symptoms and were lower in individuals with significant level of depressive symptoms. Limitations: We focused on a sample of university students with no formal diagnosis of depression and we did not assess FAA and FACA-I during cognitive and/or emotional tasks, which make our interpretation specific to the RS condition. Conclusions: Taken together our data suggest that alpha connectivity asymmetry between medial prefrontal cortex and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex may be a useful neurophysiological index in the assessment of depressive symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume257
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Frontal alpha asymmetry
  • Frontal alpha connectivity asymmetry
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Students
  • Symptom Assessment
  • Universities
  • Young Adult
  • eLORETA

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