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J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 1989 Apr-Jun;2(2):70-5.

HLA antigens in depressed, demented, and nondemented elderly.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute 90024.


To identify HLA antigen associations with geriatric depression, the authors typed 36 elderly patients with major depression and, for comparison, 36 patients with Alzheimer-type dementia and 29 nondemented elderly controls. The frequency for antigen Aw32 was significantly higher in the group of patients with major depression (14%) than in the demented (0%) and control (3%) groups. The frequencies for antigens Aw32 (22%) and Bw51 (22%) were significantly higher in the subgroup of 23 patients with endogenous depression than in the demented (Aw32 = 0%; Bw51 = 11%) and the control (Aw32 = 3%; Bw51 = 0%) groups. Although these results were derived from a relatively small sample (n = 101) and become nonsignificant when corrected for multiple comparisons, they suggest that HLA antigen associations may be present for only certain depressive subtypes in geriatric depression.

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