Mediating Effects of Neural Targets on Depression, Weight, and Anxiety Outcomes of an Integrated Collaborative Care Intervention: The ENGAGE-2 Mechanistic Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial

Nan Lv, Olusola A. Ajilore, Lan Xiao, Elizabeth M. Venditti, Philip W. Lavori, Ben S. Gerber, Mark B. Snowden, Nancy E. Wittels, Corina R. Ronneberg, Patrick Stetz, Amruta Barve, Rohit Shrestha, Sushanth Dosala, Vikas Kumar, Tessa L. Eckley, Andrea N. Goldstein-Piekarski, Joshua M. Smyth, Lisa G. Rosas, Thomas Kannampallil, John ZuluetaTrisha Suppes, Leanne M. Williams, Jun Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Integrated treatments for comorbid depression (often with anxiety) and obesity are lacking; mechanisms are poorly investigated. Methods: In a mechanistic pilot trial, adults with body mass index ≥30 and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scores ≥10 were randomized to usual care (n = 35) or an integrated behavioral intervention (n = 71). Changes at 6 months in body mass index and Depression Symptom Checklist-20 scores were co-primary outcomes, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 score was a secondary outcome. Changes at 2 months in the activation and functional connectivity of regions of interest in the negative affect circuit were primary neural targets, and secondary targets were in the cognitive control, default mode, and positive affect circuits. Results: Participants were 47.0 years (SD = 11.9 years), 76% women, 55% Black, and 20% Latino. Depression Symptom Checklist-20 (between-group difference, −0.3 [95% CI: −0.6 to −0.1]) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 (−2.9 [−4.7 to −1.1]) scores, but not body mass index, decreased significantly at 6 months in the intervention versus usual care groups. Only Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 score changes at 6 months significantly correlated with neural target changes at 2 months in the negative affect (anterior insula, subgenual/pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala) and cognitive control circuits (dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex). Effects were medium to large (0.41–1.18 SDs). Neural target changes at 2 months in the cognitive control circuit only differed by treatment group. Effects were medium (0.58–0.79 SDs). Conclusions: Compared with usual care, the study intervention led to significantly improved depression but not weight loss, and the results on neural targets were null for both outcomes. The significant intervention effect on anxiety might be mediated through changes in the cognitive control circuit, but this warrants replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-442
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Psychiatry Global Open Science
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive control
  • Depression
  • Functional neuroimaging
  • Negative affect
  • Obesity

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