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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2004 Nov-Dec;12(6):653-7.

Sex differences in brain structure in geriatric depression.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. hlavrets@ucla.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In an exploratory study, authors compared patients with late-life major depression (MDD) and age-matched control subjects to examine sex differences in frontal and orbito-frontal (OFC) regional brain volumes.

METHODS:

The study sample comprised 41 patients with MDD and 41 controls. Subjects underwent comprehensive neuropsychiatric examinations and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Corrected frontal and OFC gray-matter volumes were compared among men and women in both groups.

RESULTS:

The depression group had lower MMSE scores, greater severity of medical burden, apathy, psychomotor retardation, and poor health-related quality of life than the controls. Men in both groups had a greater severity of medical burden, apathy, and psychomotor retardation than women. The depression group had smaller OFC total and gray-matter volumes than the controls after matching for age. Men had smaller frontal-matter volumes than women in both groups. The diagnosis x sex interaction in brain regional volumes was observed only after controlling for medical burden.

CONCLUSIONS:

Sex differences in brain neuroanatomy may be important in the pathophysiology of geriatric depression. Men may be susceptible to atrophy in frontal subregions. Medical burden may contribute to the diagnosis x sex interaction in brain regional volumes.

PMID:
15545334
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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