Publications by authors named "D J Veltman"

441 Publications

The Neuroanatomy of Transgender Identity: Mega-Analytic Findings From the ENIGMA Transgender Persons Working Group.

J Sex Med 2021 May 21. Epub 2021 May 21.

Institute for Translational Psychiatry, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany.

Background: In contrast to cisgender persons, transgender persons identify with a different gender than the one assigned at birth. Although research on the underlying neurobiology of transgender persons has been accumulating over the years, neuroimaging studies in this relatively rare population are often based on very small samples resulting in discrepant findings.

Aim: To examine the neurobiology of transgender persons in a large sample.

Methods: Using a mega-analytic approach, structural MRI data of 803 non-hormonally treated transgender men (TM, n = 214, female assigned at birth with male gender identity), transgender women (TW, n = 172, male assigned at birth with female gender identity), cisgender men (CM, n = 221, male assigned at birth with male gender identity) and cisgender women (CW, n = 196, female assigned at birth with female gender identity) were analyzed.

Outcomes: Structural brain measures, including grey matter volume, cortical surface area, and cortical thickness.

Results: Transgender persons differed significantly from cisgender persons with respect to (sub)cortical brain volumes and surface area, but not cortical thickness. Contrasting the 4 groups (TM, TW, CM, and CW), we observed a variety of patterns that not only depended on the direction of gender identity (towards male or towards female) but also on the brain measure as well as the brain region examined.

Clinical Translation: The outcomes of this large-scale study may provide a normative framework that may become useful in clinical studies.

Strengths And Limitations: While this is the largest study of MRI data in transgender persons to date, the analyses conducted were governed (and restricted) by the type of data collected across all participating sites.

Conclusion: Rather than being merely shifted towards either end of the male-female spectrum, transgender persons seem to present with their own unique brain phenotype. Mueller SC, Guillamon A, Zubiaurre-Elorza L, et al. The Neuroanatomy of Transgender Identity: Mega-Analytic Findings From the ENIGMA Transgender Persons Working Group. J Sex Med 2021;XXX:XXX-XXX.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2021.03.079DOI Listing
May 2021

Fifteen years of NESDA Neuroimaging: An overview of results related to clinical profile and bio-social risk factors of major depressive disorder and common anxiety disorders.

J Affect Disord 2021 Jun 20;289:31-45. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam University Medical Center, Location VUMC and Amsterdam Neuroscience, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The longitudinal Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) Neuroimaging study was set up in 2003 to investigate whether neuroanatomical and functional abnormalities during tasks of primary emotional processing, executive planning and memory formation, and intrinsic brain connectivity are i) shared by individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) and common anxiety disorders; and ii) characterized by symptomatology-specific abnormalities. Furthermore, questions related to individual variations in vulnerability for onset, comorbidity, and longitudinal course could be investigated. Between 2005 and 2007, 233 individuals fulfilling a diagnosis of MDD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and/or generalized anxiety disorder and 68 healthy controls aging between 18 and 57 were invited from the NESDA main sample (n = 2981). An emotional faces processing task, an emotional word-encoding task, and an executive planning task were administered during 3T BOLD-fMRI acquisitions. In addition, resting state BOLD-fMRI was acquired and T1-weighted structural imaging was performed. All participants were invited to participate in the two-year and nine-year follow-up MRI measurement. Fifteen years of NESDA Neuroimaging demonstrated common morphological and neurocognitive abnormalities across individuals with depression and anxiety disorders. It however provided limited support for the idea of more extensive abnormalities in patients suffering from both depression and anxiety, despite their worse prognosis. Risk factors including childhood maltreatment and specific risk genes had an emotion processing modulating effect, apparently stronger than effects of diagnostic labels. Furthermore, brain imaging data, especially during emotion processing seemed valuable for predicting the long-term course of affective disorders, outperforming prediction based on clinical information alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.04.009DOI Listing
June 2021

Gender-related neuroanatomical differences in alcohol dependence: findings from the ENIGMA Addiction Working Group.

Neuroimage Clin 2021 Mar 22;30:102636. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Neuroscience of Addiction and Mental Health Program, Healthy Brain and Mind Research Centre, School of Behavioural & Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Electronic address:

Gender-related differences in the susceptibility, progression and clinical outcomes of alcohol dependence are well-known. However, the neurobiological substrates underlying such differences remain unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate gender differences in the neuroanatomy (i.e. regional brain volumes) of alcohol dependence. We examined the volume of a priori regions of interest (i.e., orbitofrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, caudate, putamen, pallidum, thalamus, corpus callosum, cerebellum) and global brain measures (i.e., total grey matter (GM), total white matter (WM) and cerebrospinal fluid). Volumes were compared between 660 people with alcohol dependence (228 women) and 326 controls (99 women) recruited from the ENIGMA Addiction Working Group, accounting for intracranial volume, age and education years. Compared to controls, individuals with alcohol dependence on average had (3-9%) smaller volumes of the hippocampus (bilateral), putamen (left), pallidum (left), thalamus (right), corpus callosum, total GM and WM, and cerebellar GM (bilateral), the latter more prominently in women (right). Alcohol-dependent men showed smaller amygdala volume than control men, but this effect was unclear among women. In people with alcohol dependence, more monthly standard drinks predicted smaller amygdala and larger cerebellum GM volumes. The neuroanatomical differences associated with alcohol dependence emerged as gross and widespread, while those associated with a specific gender may be confined to selected brain regions. These findings warrant future neuroscience research to account for gender differences in alcohol dependence to further understand the neurobiological effects of alcohol dependence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065340PMC
March 2021

Emotional processing in panic disorder and its subtypes: An fMRI study using emotional faces.

J Affect Disord 2021 05 31;287:427-432. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Psychiatry and Amsterdam Neuroscience, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Inconsistent findings regarding the pathophysiology of panic disorder (PD) could result from clinical heterogeneity. Identifying subtypes could enhance insights into the neurobiological substrates of PD.

Methods: An emotional faces fMRI paradigm was used in a group of PD patients (n = 73) and healthy controls (n = 58). The overall PD group was further divided into three previously identified subtypes: a cognitive-autonomic (n = 22), an autonomic (n = 16) and an aspecific (n = 35) subtype. Differences in brain activity levels in response to emotional facial expressions between groups were examined for six regions of interests, namely the amygdala, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, fusiform gyrus, lingual gyrus and insula.

Results: PD patients showed lower activity in the rostral anterior cingulate in response to angry faces than healthy controls, which was mainly driven by the autonomic subtype. No significant differences were found in other brain regions when comparing PD patients with controls or when comparing across PD subtypes.

Limitations: Sample sizes in subgroups were relatively small CONCLUSIONS: The role of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex for emotional processes critical in panic disorder is highlighted by this study and provides, albeit preliminary, evidence for the use of a subtype approach to advance our neurobiological insights in PD considering its involvement in the appraisal of autonomic viscero-sensory symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.03.069DOI Listing
May 2021

Sex differences in the neuroanatomy of alcohol dependence: hippocampus and amygdala subregions in a sample of 966 people from the ENIGMA Addiction Working Group.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 Mar 4;11(1):156. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Neuroscience of Addiction & Mental Health Program, Healthy Brain and Mind Research Centre, School of Behavioural & Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Males and females with alcohol dependence have distinct mental health and cognitive problems. Animal models of addiction postulate that the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are partially distinct, but there is little evidence of sex differences in humans with alcohol dependence as most neuroimaging studies have been conducted in males. We examined hippocampal and amygdala subregions in a large sample of 966 people from the ENIGMA Addiction Working Group. This comprised 643 people with alcohol dependence (225 females), and a comparison group of 323 people without alcohol dependence (98 females). Males with alcohol dependence had smaller volumes of the total amygdala and its basolateral nucleus than male controls, that exacerbated with alcohol dose. Alcohol dependence was also associated with smaller volumes of the hippocampus and its CA1 and subiculum subfield volumes in both males and females. In summary, hippocampal and amygdalar subregions may be sensitive to both shared and distinct mechanisms in alcohol-dependent males and females.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01204-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933136PMC
March 2021