The network structure of core depressive symptom-domains in major depressive disorder following antidepressant treatment: a randomized clinical trial.

TitleThe network structure of core depressive symptom-domains in major depressive disorder following antidepressant treatment: a randomized clinical trial.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBerlim MT, Richard-Devantoy S, Santos NRodrigues, Turecki G
JournalPsychol Med
Pagination1-15
Date Published2020 Apr 21
ISSN1469-8978
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Network analysis (NA) conceptualizes psychiatric disorders as complex dynamic systems of mutually interacting symptoms. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a heterogeneous clinical condition, and very few studies to date have assessed putative changes in its psychopathological network structure in response to antidepressant (AD) treatment.METHODS: In this randomized trial with adult depressed outpatients (n = 151), we estimated Gaussian graphical models among nine core MDD symptom-domains before and after 8 weeks of treatment with either escitalopram or desvenlafaxine. Networks were examined with the measures of cross-sectional and longitudinal structure and connectivity, centrality and predictability as well as stability and accuracy.RESULTS: At baseline, the most connected MDD symptom-domains were fatigue-cognitive disturbance, whereas at week 8 they were depressed mood-suicidality. Overall, the most central MDD symptom-domains at baseline and week 8 were, respectively, fatigue and depressed mood; in contrast, the most peripheral symptom-domain across both timepoints was appetite/weight disturbance. Furthermore, the psychopathological network at week 8 was significantly more interconnected than at baseline, and they were also structurally dissimilar.CONCLUSION: Our findings highlight the utility of focusing on the dynamic interaction between depressive symptoms to better understand how the treatment with ADs unfolds over time. In addition, depressed mood, fatigue, and cognitive/psychomotor disturbance seem to be central MDD symptoms that may be viable targets for novel, focused therapeutic interventions.

DOI10.1017/S0033291720001002
Alternate JournalPsychol Med
PubMed ID32312344