Abnormal gyrification patterns may reflect aberrant cortical connectivity during an early period of brain maturation. We here investigated anatomical distribution of cortical gyrification deficits underlying panic disorder and the relationships of these potential neurodevelopmental markers with panic symptom severity. High-resolution three-dimensional T1-weighted structural images were obtained from 23 patients with panic disorder and 33 matched healthy individuals. Local gyrification indices were measured in each genetically-based parcellated cortical subregion and regional gyrification patterns were compared between groups. Cortical areas in which gyrification patterns were associated with panic symptom severity were also determined. Significant reductions in cortical gyrification were observed in panic patients compared with healthy individuals, which were mainly distributed in the lateral brain extending from the fronto-parietal to the temporal areas. In contrast, hyper-gyrification in the posteromedial cortical regions which exert interconnecting roles in the default mode network, was associated with less severe panic symptoms. Post-hoc analysis for the inter-regional covariance of local gyrification indices revealed that interconnections of the posteromedial cortical regions with other cortical areas which belong to the default mode network were reduced in panic patients with severe symptoms relative to either less severe patients or healthy individuals. Our findings suggest not only substantial perturbation in cortical gyrification patterns in panic disorder but also potential contribution of integrated cortical folding pattern of the default mode network to alleviated panic severity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the grants from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (Independent Investigator Award) ; the National Research Foundation of Korea ( 2012R1A2A2A01010739 ); the Global Top 5 program from the Ewha W. University ; the Seoul National University Hospital research fund ( 03-2010-004-0 ); and the Global Research Network Program ( KRF-2008-220-E00021 ) from the Korea Research Foundation. The funding sources had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
- Cortical gyrification
- Default mode network
- Local gyrification index
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Panic disorder