Brain dynamics in childhood trauma-related depression

Many psychiatric conditions, including major depressive disorder (MDD), have been increasingly associated with dysfunctions in brain-wide network connectivity. Such network connectivity is not static, but rather shows temporally varying patterns. The ability to dynamically switch between functional brain networks appears crucial for resilience, as it enables individuals to adequately adapt to their environment. Impairments in this ability might result in dysfunctional responses to environmental factors that ultimately contribute to psychopathology.

In the REACT study, an fMRI-paradigm is used to compare functional brain dynamics between 3 groups: MDD patients with childhood trauma, without childhood trauma, and healthy controls. The study is designed as a randomized cross-over study with two experimental conditions, namely a cognitive load and a placebo task, separated by two weeks. The aim is to investigate the proficiency for dynamic adaptation of brain function in these groups, particularly shown by resting-state functional connectivity of the salience, default mode, and executive control network. We will also examine physiological and psychological responses to events in daily life and compare these to fMRI-findings.

REACT will be mainly conducted at the department of Psychiatry at AmsterdamUMC/VUmc, in cooperation with the department of Anatomy and Neurosciences.


Jasmin Pasteuning