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Gruenewald, Barbara D.; Greimel, Ellen; Trinkl, Monika; Bartling, Jürgen; Grossheinrich, Nicola; Schulte-Koerne, Gerd (2018): Resting frontal EEG asymmetry patterns in adolescents with and without major depression. In: Biological Psychology, Vol. 132: pp. 212-216
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Abstract

More right-sided frontal brain resting activity has been postulated to be a correlate of major depression in adults. In children and adolescents, more right-sided activity (as indicated by more left-sided alpha activity) seems to be associated with psychosocial risk factors. However, an association of frontal asymmetry and manifest unipolar depression has not been shown in adolescents so far. We analyzed frontal asymmetry in 20 adolescents (12-17 years) with unipolar depression (12 with first episode, 8 with recurrent depression) and 31 healthy age-matched controls. We found significantly less left-sided alpha power over frontal Regions of Interest in patients, while controls exhibited no asymmetry. In the control group, more left-sided frontal alpha correlated with higher depression scores, which was not observed in the patient group. Our results suggest developmental effects on frontal asymmetry, and prompt further investigations in adolescents to clarify the role of frontal asymmetry in adolescent major depression.