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Stressful life events (SLEs) is an important causal factor in depression, the mechanism of which, however, remains unclear. Recent studies suggested that white matter (WM) micro-structures might be a potential mediator between SLEs and depression. Hence, we intended to investigate the concrete correspondence among them using the mediation effect models. WM micro-structures of 194 participants with SLEs experience prospectively recruited from 6 residential communities were detected with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The relationship with each other among SLEs, WM micro-structures and depression were respectively explored with multiple linear regression models and logistic regression models. Furthermore, the influence of WM micro-structures on the association between SLEs and depression was tested with the mediation effect models. The successfully established mediation effect models showed the specific influence of fractional anisotropy (FA) of the corpus callosum and left uncinate fasciculus on the association between SLEs and depression onset (ab path = 0.032; ab path = 0.026) and depressive severity (ab path = 0.052; ab path = 0.067). The significantly total mediation effects on the association between SLEs and depression onset (ab path = 0.031) and severity (ab path = 0.075) through FA of the corpus callosum and left uncinate fasciculus also were found. WM micro-structures alterations imposed a substantial mediation effect on the association between SLEs and depression, which suggested the changes in the WM micro-structures integrity might increase the risk of depression onset and unfavorable disease courses induced by the SLEs. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Citation

Yun Wang, Qi Wang, Jie Xie, Yan Zhu, Danwei Zhang, Guohai Li, Xiaolan Zhu, Yuefeng Li. Mediation on the association between stressful life events and depression by abnormal white matter micro-structures. Biological psychiatry. Cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging. 2021 Mar 25


PMID: 33775928

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