Korean J Biol Psychiatry.  2018 Aug;25(3):60-71. 10.0000/kjbp.2018.25.3.60.

Changes in the Volume and Cortical Thickness of the Specific Regions of Cerebellum of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. drkyumanhan@gmail.com
  • 2Brain Convergence Research Center, Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


A growing body of evidence has suggested that morphologic changes in cerebellum may be implicated with pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study is to investigate a difference in the volume and cortical thickness of the specific region of cerebellum between patients with MDD and healthy controls (HC).
A total of 127 patients with MDD and 105 HC participated in this study and underwent T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging. We analyzed volume and cortical thickness of each twelve cerebellum regions divided by left and right and the volume and cortical thickness of the whole cerebellum from T1-weigted image of participants. One-way analysis of covariance was used to investigate the volume and cortical thickness difference of total and specific regions between two groups adjusting for age, gender, medication, and total intracranial cavity volume.
We found that the patients with MDD had significantly greater volume in the left cerebellum lobule III region [false discovery rate (FDR)-corrected p = 0.034] compared to HC. Also, our findings indicate that cortical thickness of left lobule VIIB (FDR-corrected p = 0.032) and lobule VIIIB (FDR-corrected p = 0.032) are significantly thinner in the patients with MDD compared with the HC. No significant volume and cortical thickness differences were observed in other sub-regions of the cerebellum. The volumes and cortical thickness of whole cerebellum between patients with MDD and HC did not differ significantly.
We observed the region-specific volume and cortical thickness difference in cerebellum between the patients with MDD and HC. The results of our study implicate that the information about structural alterations in cerebellum with further replicative studies might provide a stepping stone toward a specific marker to diagnose MDD.


Major depressive disorder; Cerebellum; Cerebellar cortical thickness; Cerebellar volume

MeSH Terms

Depressive Disorder, Major*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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