Lower Dorsal Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Functional Connectivity in Late-Life Depression With Suicidal Ideation

The dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been identified as a neuromodulation target for alleviating suicidal ideation. Dysfunctional DLPFC has been implicated in suicidality in depression. This study aimed to investigate the functional connectivity (FC) of the DLPFC in late-life depression (LLD) with suicidal ideation. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 32 LLD patients with suicidal ideation (LLD-S), 41 LLD patients without suicidal ideation (LLD-NS), and 54 healthy older adults (HOA) were analyzed using DLPFC seed-based FC analyses. Group differences in FC were examined, and machine learning was applied to explore the potential of DLPFC-FC for classifying LLD-S from LLD-NS. Abnormal DLPFC-FC patterns were observed in LLD-S, characterized by lower connectivity with the angular gyrus, precuneus, and superior frontal gyrus compared to LLD-NS and healthy controls. A classification model based on the identified DLPFC-FC achieved an accuracy of 75%. The lower FC of DLPFC networks may contribute to the neurobiological mechanism of suicidal ideation in late-life depression. These findings may facilitate suicide prevention for LLD by providing potential neuroimaging markers and network-based neuromodulation targets. However, further confirmation with larger sample sizes and experimental designs is warranted.

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