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Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2014 Apr;41(4):714-22.

Increased brain amyloid deposition in patients with a lifetime history of major depression: evidenced on 18F-florbetapir (AV-45/Amyvid) positron emission tomography.



The literature suggests that a history of depression is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aim of this study was to examine brain amyloid accumulation in patients with lifetime major depression using (18)F-florbetapir (AV-45/Amyvid) PET imaging in comparison with that in nondepressed subjects.


The study groups comprised 25 depressed patients and 11 comparison subjects who did not meet the diagnostic criteria for AD or amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Vascular risk factors, homocysteine and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype were also examined. The standard uptake value ratio (SUVR) of each volume of interest was analysed using whole the cerebellum as the reference region.


Patients with a lifetime history of major depression had higher (18)F-florbetapir SUVRs in the precuneus (1.06 ± 0.08 vs. 1.00 ± 0.06, p = 0.045) and parietal region (1.05 ± 0.08 vs. 0.98 ± 0.07, p = 0.038) than the comparison subjects. Voxel-wise analysis revealed a significantly increased SUVR in depressed patients in the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital areas (p < 0.01). There were no significant associations between global (18)F-florbetapir SUVRs and prior depression episodes, age at onset of depression, or time since onset of first depression.


Increased (18)F-florbetapir binding values were found in patients with late-life major depression relative to comparison subjects in specific brain regions, despite no differences in age, sex, education, Mini Mental Status Examination score, vascular risk factor score, homocysteine and ApoE ε4 genotype between the two groups. A longitudinal follow-up study with a large sample size would be worthwhile.

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