Prefrontal cortex activation of return-to-work trainees in remission of mental disorders with depressive symptoms compared to that of healthy controls

Hirokazu Atsumori, Akiko N. Obata, Hiroki Satou, Tsukasa Funane, Ritsuko Yamaguchi, Masashi Kiguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The increase in the number of patients with mental disorders with depressive symptoms has become a significant problem. To prevent people developing those disorders and help with the effective recovery, it is important to quantitatively and objectively monitor an individual's mental state. Previous studies have shown the relationship between negative or depressive mood state and human prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation during verbal and spatial working memory tasks based on a near-infrared spectroscopy imaging technique. In this study, we aimed to explore a biomarker of the mental state of people in remission of mental disorders with depressive symptoms using this technique. We obtained the PFC activation of return-to-work (RTW) trainees in remission of those disorders, compared that of healthy controls, and obtained subjective questionnaire scores with the Profile of Mood States. We compared the PFC activation with the questionnaire scores by receiver operating characteristic analysis using a logistic-regression model. The results showed that the PFC activation indicates a healthy state compared to that of the RTW trainees evaluated by area-under-curve analysis. This study demonstrates that our PFC measurement technique will be useful as a quantitative and objective assessment of mental state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 1
Externally publishedYes



  • mood state
  • near-infrared spectroscopy
  • prefrontal cortex
  • return to work
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering

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