Effects of lockdowns on neurobiological and psychometric parameters in unipolar depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effects of lockdowns on neurobiological and psychometric parameters in unipolar depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication date: Jan 19, 2024

Defying the COVID-19 pandemic required restriction measures of unprecedented scale, that may induce and exacerbate psychiatric symptoms across the population. We aimed to assess in vivo dynamic effects of mitigation strategies on human brain neurobiology, neuroplastic as well as psychometric parameters. Three structural magnetic resonance imaging measurements, serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (sBDNF) analyses, and psychometric assessments (Beck Depression Inventory-II and Perceived Stress Questionnaire-20) were performed in healthy individuals and patients with a recurrent major depressive disorder in the period from September 2020 to July 2021. Group differences and changes over time in structural imaging, neuroplastic and psychometric parameters were assessed with linear mixed models. Analysis of data from 18 patients with a recurrent major depressive disorder and 28 healthy individuals showed clinically relevant scores for depression and stress in the patient group as well as significant cross-sectional differences in depression scores (Fā€‰=ā€‰30. 89, pā€‰ā€‰0. 1). Despite the limited sample size, the strength of this investigation lies in the multimodal assessment of peri-pandemic lockdown effects. Nine months of varying restrictions measures did not result in observable changes in brain morphology nor impact depressive symptoms in either psychiatric patients with a recurrent major depressive disorder or healthy individuals. While these neurobiological and psychometric data stand in contrast to initial expectations about the effects of restriction measures, they might inform future investigations of longitudinal effects of restriction measures on mental health.

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Concepts Keywords
Exacerbate Brain
July Covid
Models Depression
Psychiatry Depressive
Serum Disorder


Type Source Name
disease MESH unipolar depression
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO population
disease MESH major depressive disorder
disease VO time
disease MESH post traumatic stress disorder
disease MESH mental disorder
disease IDO susceptibility
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
disease MESH syndromes
disease VO volume
disease MESH neurological disorder
disease MESH contraindication
disease IDO blood
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
drug DRUGBANK Tilmicosin
disease MESH infections
disease MESH psychological distress
drug DRUGBANK Flunarizine
disease VO USA
drug DRUGBANK Sodium Citrate
disease IDO assay
disease VO protocol
disease IDO quality
disease VO age
disease MESH lifestyles
disease IDO symptom
disease IDO intervention
drug DRUGBANK Esketamine
disease MESH insomnia
disease MESH infectious diseases
disease MESH loneliness
disease VO gene
drug DRUGBANK Sulfasalazine
drug DRUGBANK Nandrolone phenpropionate
drug DRUGBANK Diethylstilbestrol
disease VO effectiveness
disease MESH abnormalities
disease MESH sequelae
disease MESH treatment resistant depression
disease MESH hypertrophy
disease VO company
drug DRUGBANK Trimethoprim
pathway REACTOME Reproduction

Original Article

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