Centre for Youth Mental Health - Research Publications

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    Brain Aging in Major Depressive Disorder: Results From the ENIGMA MDD Consortium
    Schmaal, L ; Han, L ; Dinga, R ; Thompson, P ; Veltman, D ; Penninx, B (ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2018-05-01)
    Background: Major Depressive Disorder has been associated with accelerated biological aging. From a brain perspective, normal aging is associated with significant loss of grey matter and depression may have an accelerating effect on age-related brain atrophy. Here, data on brain aging in MDD from the ENIGMA MDD Working Group will be presented. Methods: A normative model of brain-based age was devel- oped in 4708 healthy controls by applying a Gaussian Process Regression analysis with 10-fold cross-validation to estimate chronological age from structural MRI scans, separately for males and females. This model was then applied to 2924 MDD individuals to predict their brain-based age. Accelerated brain aging was measured as the difference between predicted brain-based age and actual chronological age (brain age gap). Results: The brain age model explained 92% and 93% of the age variance in female and male healthy controls, respectively. The mean absolute error (MAE) was 6.79 years in females and 6.60 in males. Application of the model to MDD patients showed a mean brain age gap of 0.75 years in females (MAE¼6.82) and 0.64 in males (MAE¼6.68), which were significantly lower than brain age gap estimates in healthy controls in both females (F(1,4379)¼6.10,P¼0.01) and males (F(1,3166)¼4.07,P¼0.04). Our preliminary analysis also showed greater brain age gap associations with various clinical characteristics. Conclusions: We found preliminary evidence for accelerated brain aging in MDD, however, the brains of patients were estimated to be only <1 years older than healthy controls. The impact of different methods, feature selection and potential confounding effects will also be discussed.