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No Alterations of Brain Structural Asymmetry in MDD

Altered brain macro-anatomical asymmetry may be of little relevance to major depression (MD) etiology in most cases, a new study found. Researchers investigated differences in the laterality of thickness and surface area measures of 34 cerebral cortical regions in 2,256 individuals with MD and 3,504 controls from 31 separate data sets, and they investigated volume asymmetries of 8 subcortical structures in 2,540 individuals with MD and 4,230 controls from 32 data sets. They found:

  • The largest effect size of MD evaluation was 0.085 for the thickness asymmetry of the superior temporal cortex, which was not significant after adjustment for multiple testing.
  • Asymmetry measures were not significantly associated with acute compare with remitted status, first episode compared with recurrent status, or age at onset.


de Kovel CGF, et al. No alterations of brain structural asymmetry in major depressive disorder: An ENIGMA consortium analysis. [Published online ahead of print July 29, 2019]. Am J Psychiatry. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18101144.