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BMJ. 1998 Oct 10;317(7164):982-4.

Severe deep white matter lesions and outcome in elderly patients with major depressive disorder: follow up study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Institute for the Health of the Elderly, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6BE. j.t.o'brien@ncl.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the difference in outcome among elderly people with major depression who do and do not have severe white matter lesions on magnetic resonance imaging.

DESIGN:

Follow up study.

SETTING:

Two psychiatric and two general hospitals in Melbourne, Australia.

SUBJECTS:

60 depressed subjects aged over 55 referred to hospital psychiatric services with major depressive disorder meeting American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IIIR) criteria.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Proportion with good outcome as determined by full recovery from initial illness and no evidence of depressive relapse or cognitive decline during follow up among those with and without lesions.

RESULTS:

Mean (SD) follow up was 31.9 (9.9) months. Survival analysis showed a significant effect of severe lesions on time to poor outcome (P=0.04), with median survival 136 days in those with severe lesions compared with 315 days in those without.

CONCLUSION:

Severe white matter change on magnetic resonance imaging is associated with poor outcome in elderly depressed subjects.

PMID:
9765166
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC28682
Free PMC Article
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