fNIRS for Major Depressive Disorder Review

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Diagnostic and Predictive Applications of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Major Depressive Disorder: A Systematic Review.

Abstract
Introduction: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a global psychiatric disorder with no established biomarker. There is growing evidence that functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has the ability to aid in the diagnosis and prediction of the treatment response of MDD. The aim of this review was to systematically review, and gather the evidence from existing studies that used fNIRS signals in the diagnosis of MDD, correlations with depression symptomatology, and the monitoring of treatment response.
Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, ScienceDirect, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for published English articles from 1980 to June 2019 that focused on the application of fNIRS for (i) differentiating depressed versus nondepressed individuals, (ii) correlating with depression symptomatology, and in turn (iii) monitoring treatment responses in depression. Studies were included if they utilized fNIRS to evaluate cerebral hemodynamic variations in patients with MDD of any age group. The quality of the evidence was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa quality assessment scale.
Results: A total of 64 studies were included in this review, with 12 studies being longitudinal, while the rest were cross-sectional. More than two-thirds of the studies (n = 49) had acceptable quality. fNIRS consistently demonstrated attenuated cerebral hemodynamic changes in depressed compared to healthy individuals. fNIRS signals have also shown promise in correlating with individual symptoms of depression and monitoring various treatment responses.
Conclusions: This review provides comprehensive updated evidence of the diagnostic and predictive applications of fNIRS in patients with MDD. Future studies involving larger sample sizes, standardized methodology, examination of more brain regions in an integrative approach, and longitudinal follow-ups are needed.

PMID: 32477179 [PubMed]

Front Psychiatry. 2020;11:378

Authors: Ho CSH, Lim LJH, Lim AQ, Chan NHC, Tan RS, Lee SH, Ho RCM

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