Differences in functional connectivity between patients with depression with and without nonsuicidal self-injury
Hye-Jin Lee 1, Young-Min Park 1*, Miseon Shim 2
1Department of Psychiatry, Inje University College of Medicine, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea, 2Department of Artificial Intelligence, Tech University of Korea, Siheung, Republic of Korea
Received: September 16, 2023; Revised: November 10, 2023; Accepted: November 14, 2023; Published online: November 14, 2023.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Objective: Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), which involves deliberate harm to body tissues without suicidal intent, represents an escalating clinical concern. We used electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the differences in functional connectivity (FC) patterns in patients with depression with and without a history of NSSI.
Methods: Seventy-seven patients with mood disorders experiencing major depressive episodes were categorized into NSSI (Group A; n = 31) and non-NSSI (Group B; n = 46) groups on the basis of their NSSI history. EEG data were collected and FC was analyzed using coherence (Coh), imaginary coherence (iCoh), and phase-locking value (PLV) metrics. Network indices based on graph theory were calculated. Demographic and clinical characteristics and scale scores were compared between groups A and B.
Results: While the two groups showed no significant differences in demographic characteristics such as age and diagnosis, the Beck Depression Inventory and Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (SIQ) scores were higher in Group A. Binary logistic regression analyses revealed associations of NSSI with sex and the SIQ score. We examined the connectivity of 1,326 pairs of signals across six frequency bands, yielding 7,956 signal pairs. The two groups showed no significant differences in the Coh, iCoh, corrected PLV, or network indices but showed significant differences in all the frequency bands when an uncorrected t-test was used.
Conclusions: In this study, FC differences in depression with and without NSSI were not observed. Further well-controlled research is expected to clarify neurobiological underpinnings and guide future interventions.
Keywords: Nonsuicidal self-injury, functional connectivity, electroencephalography, depression