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  White matter network alterations in patients with depersonalization/derealization disorder

Sierk, A., Daniels, J. K., Manthey, A., Kok, J. G., Leemans, A., Gaebler, M., et al. (2018). White matter network alterations in patients with depersonalization/derealization disorder. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 43(4): 170110. doi:10.1503/jpn.170110.

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Sierk, Anika 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Author
Daniels, Judith K. 6, Author
Manthey, Antje 1, 2, 3, 4, Author
Kok, Jelmer G. 7, Author
Leemans, Alexander 8, Author
Gaebler, Michael9, Author           
Lamke, Jan-Peter 1, 2, 3, 4, Author
Kruschwitz, Johann 1, 2, 3, 4, Author
Walter, Henrik 1, 2, 3, 4, Author
1Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2FU Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
7Department of Neurology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
8PROVIDI Lab, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
9Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              


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 Abstract: Background: Depersonalization/derealization disorder (DPD) is a chronic and distressing condition characterized by detachment from oneself and/or the external world. Neuroimaging studies have associated DPD with structural and functional alterations in a variety of distinct brain regions. Such local neuronal changes might be mediated by altered interregional white matter connections. However, to our knowledge, no research on network characteristics in this patient population exists to date. Methods: We explored the structural connectome in 23 individuals with DPD and 23 matched, healthy controls by applying graph theory to diffusion tensor imaging data. Mean interregional fractional anisotropy (FA) was used to define the network weights. Group differences were assessed using network-based statistics and a link-based controlling procedure. Results: Our main finding refers to lower FA values within left temporal and right temporoparietal regions in individuals with DPD than in healthy controls when using a link-based controlling procedure. These links were also associated with dissociative symptom severity and could not be explained by anxiety or depression scores. Using network-based statistics, no significant results emerged. However, we found a trend for 1 subnetwork that may support the model of frontolimbic dysbalance suggested to underlie DPD symptomatology. Limitations: To ensure ecological validity, patients with certain comorbidities or psychotropic medication were included in the study. Confirmatory replications are necessary to corroborate the results of this explorative investigation. Conclusion: In patients with DPD, the structural connectivity between brain regions crucial for multimodal integration and emotion regulation may be altered. Aberrations in fibre tract communication seem to be not solely a secondary effect of local grey matter volume loss, but may present a primary pathophysiology in patients with DPD.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-12-012017-06-072018-01-212018-06-06
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1503/jpn.170110
PMID: 29877178
Other: Epub ahead of print
 Degree: -



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Project information

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Project name : -
Grant ID : II/84051
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Volkswagen Foundation
Project name : -
Grant ID : DA 1222/4-1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project name : Rosalind Franklin Fellowship Cofund Programme / ROSALIND FRANKLIN
Grant ID : 600211
Funding program : Funding Programme 7
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : German National Merit Foundation grant
Funding organization : German National Merit Foundation
Project name : -
Grant ID : 639.072.411
Funding program : VIDI Grant
Funding organization : Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Source 1

Title: Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : J Psychiatry Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Ottawa, Ont., Canada : Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 43 (4) Sequence Number: 170110 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1180-4882
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1180-4882