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Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Nov;159(11):1929-32.

Frontal white matter microstructure and treatment response of late-life depression: a preliminary study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical Colege, Cornell University, and the Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, NY 10605, USA.



This study tested the hypothesis that microstructural abnormalities in white matter areas of the brain containing frontostriatal tracts are associated with a low rate of remission of geriatric depression.


Thirteen older patients with major depression received open, but controlled, treatment with citalopram at a target daily dose of 40 mg for 12 weeks. Diffusion tensor imaging was used to determine fractional anisotropy in preselected white matter regions.


Survival analysis with Cox's proportional hazards model revealed that lower fractional anisotropy of the right and the left frontal white matter regions 15 mm above the anterior commissure-posterior commissure plane was associated with a low remission rate after age was considered. Remission was not significantly associated with fractional anisotropy of lower frontal regions or a temporal region.


Microstructural white matter abnormalities lateral to the anterior cingulate may be associated with a low rate of remission of geriatric depression.

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