Resting-state amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation is associated with suicidal ideation

Martin J. Lan, Mina M. Rizk, Spiro P. Pantazatos, Harry Rubin-Falcone, Jeffrey M. Miller, M. Elizabeth Sublette, Maria A. Oquendo, John G. Keilp, J. John Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Identifying brain activity patterns that are associated with suicidal ideation (SI) may help to elucidate its pathogenesis and etiology. Suicide poses a significant public health problem, and SI is a risk factor for suicidal behavior. Methods: Forty-one unmedicated adult participants in a major depressive episode (MDE), 26 with SI on the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation and 15 without SI, underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Twenty-one healthy volunteers (HVs) were scanned for secondary analyses. Whole brain analysis of both amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFFs) and fractional ALFF was performed in MDE subjects to identify regions where activity was associated with SI. Results: Subjects with SI had greater ALFF than those without SI in two clusters: one in the right hippocampus and one in the thalamus and caudate, bilaterally. Multi-voxel pattern analysis distinguished between those with and without SI. Post hoc analysis of the mean ALFF in the hippocampus cluster found it to be associated with a delayed recall on the Buschke memory task. Mean ALFF from the significant clusters was not associated with depression severity and did not differ between MDE and HV groups. Discussion: These results indicate that SI is associated with altered resting-state brain activity. The pattern of elevated activity in the hippocampus may be related to how memories are processed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarker
  • fMRI
  • major depressive disorder
  • resting state
  • suicidal ideation
  • suicide


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