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Psychiatry Res. 1991 Oct;40(2):95-9.

A magnetic resonance imaging study of putamen nuclei in major depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.

Abstract

The basal ganglia are recognized as putative mediators of certain cognitive and behavioral symptoms of major depression. Moreover, patients with basal ganglia lesions have repeatedly exhibited significant affective symptomatology, including apathy, depressive mood, and psychosis. Using high resolution, axial T2 intermediate magnetic resonance images, and a systematic sampling stereologic method, we assessed putamen nuclei volumes in 41 patients with major depression (DSM-III) and 44 healthy volunteer controls of similar age. Depressed patients had significantly smaller putamen nuclei compared with controls. Age was negatively correlated with putamen size in both groups. These results are the first demonstration of diminished putamen volumes in depression and further support a role for basal ganglia structures in the etiopathogenesis of depression.

PMID:
1763144
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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