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Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2012;11:269-87. doi: 10.1007/7854_2011_175.

MRI studies in late-life mood disorders.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


There are well-established patterns of structural brain changes associated with aging. The change in brain volume with age and with the diseases of aging presents a particular challenge for MRI studies in the elderly. Structural MRI is important for studies in normal aging, late-life depression, dementia, Alzheimer disease and other cognitive disorders to examine how age-associated changes in neuroanatomy are associated with specific age-related changes in brain function. Functional MRI has been a major advance for the fields of cognitive and affective neuroscience by allowing investigators to test theories of the underlying neural pathways controlling cognitive and emotional processes. In this chapter, we will review the contribution of MRI studies to late-life mood and anxiety disorders: major depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders in late-life.

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