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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2001 Apr;2(2):83-8.

Structural neuroimaging studies in late-life depression: a review.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia. i.schweitzer@medicine.unimelb.edu.au


Which patients presenting with depression in late life will progress to a dementia syndrome has been an important research question in recent times. In this paper we review selectively structural neuroimaging investigations of late-life depression (LLD) that have been performed over the past two decades. These studies indicate that there are neuroimaging changes commonly observed in LLD patients when compared to normal controls. Findings include ventricular enlargement and sulcal widening, and reduction in volume size of frontal lobes, hippocampus and caudate nucleus. White matter lesions are more common in depressed subjects and tend to be more severe. Some studies report these changes to be more pronounced in patients who present with late-onset depression (LOD) but this has been contradicted by other studies. Preliminary work suggests that these changes may be associated with a poor prognosis but there is a dearth of systematic, well-controlled longitudinal studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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