Toward dysfunctional connectivity: A review of neuroimaging findings in pediatric major depressive disorder

Leslie A. Hulvershorn, Kathryn Cullen, Amit Anand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

113 Scopus citations


Child and adolescent psychiatric neuroimaging research typically lags behind similar advances in adult disorders. While the pediatric depression imaging literature is less developed, a recent surge in interest has created the need for a synthetic review of this work. Major findings from pediatric volumetric and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting state functional connectivity studies converge to implicate a corticolimbic network of key areas that work together to mediate the task of emotion regulation. Imaging the brain of children and adolescents with unipolar depression began with volumetric studies of isolated brain regions that served to identify key prefrontal, cingulate and limbic nodes of depression-related circuitry elucidated from more recent advances in DTI and functional connectivity imaging. Systematic review of these studies preliminarily suggests developmental differences between findings in youth and adults, including prodromal neurobiological features, along with some continuity across development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-328
Number of pages22
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Adolescents
  • fMRI
  • Major depressive disorder
  • MRI brain imaging
  • Neuroimaging
  • Pediatric depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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