White matter integrity correlates with depressive symptomatology in temporal lobe epilepsy
Abstract Rationale White matter abnormalities occur in both temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and depression, but there is limited research examining the depression–white matter association in depressed individuals with TLE. This study examined the relationship between white matter integrity (WMI) and depression including the influence of age at seizure onset, in adults with TLE, TLE and depression, and depression only. Methods Thirty-one adults were in one of three groups: TLE without depression (TLE; n=11), TLE with depression (TLE+DEP; n=9), and depression without TLE (DEP; n=11). Participants completed structured interviews for depression diagnosis and severity. White matter integrity was estimated based on fractional anisotropy (FA) calculated in frontotemporolimbic (FTL) and non-FTL regions in the JHU DTI atlas. Results In adults with TLE (n=20), depressive symptomology was significantly correlated with FA in non-FTL regions and trended toward significance in FTL regions. These associations were found in FTL (statistically significant) and non-FTL (trended toward significance) regions in participants with childhood seizure onset but not in those with adolescent/adult seizure onset. Conclusions Current results suggest that WMI, within FTL and non-FTL regions, are associated with depressive symptomology in adults with TLE. This association may be most notable in those with childhood-onset epilepsy. These findings could have important implications for the conceptualization and clinical care of neuropsychiatric comorbidities in TLE. Highlights This study examined white matter integrity (WMI) in depression and temporal lobe epilepsy. Depression severity was associated with WMI in FTL and non-FTL regions. This association was found in childhood, but not in adolescent/adult, onset epilepsy. WMI may reflect one neurobiologic, pathogenic mechanism underlying TLE–depression.
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