• Type: #article
  • Author: E. Sprooten
  • Year read:#read2021
  • Bibtex: @sprooten2017
  • Bibliography: Sprooten, E. et al. Addressing reverse inference in psychiatric neuroimaging: Meta-analyses of task-related brain activation in common mental disorders. Hum. Brain Mapp. 38, 1846–1864 (2017).

Case-control type studies with neuroimaging are often interpreted as disorder-specific dysfunctions. Do the results really point to causal, disorder-specific pathways? causality

  • Meta-analysis on 537 studies, 21 427 participants

  • Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety disorders and OCD

    Differently activated regions are often ascribed disorder-specific functions in an attempt to link disease expression and brain function.

When considering all primary studies, we found an effect of diagnosis for the amygdala and caudate nucleus and an effect of RDoC domains and constructs for the amygdala, hippocam- pus, putamen and nucleus accumbens. In contrast, whole-brain studies did not identify any significant effect of diagnosis or RDoC domain or construct. These results resonate with prior reports of common brain structural and genetic underpinnings across these disorders and caution against attributing undue specific- ity to brain functional changes when forming explanatory models of psychiatric disorders.

The findings of this study suggests that case-control dif- ferences in task-fMRI activation reveal a shared topogra- phy for SCZ, BD, MDD, anxiety disorders, and OCD. This shared topography explains common deficits in cognitive circuits but does not fully account for variability in clinical presentation and cannot be assumed to imply shared etio- logical or pathogenic mechanisms. Our findings encourage studies that cross diagnostic boundaries, emphasize the importance of whole-brain studies and urge the careful interpretation and consideration of ROI studies.