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Biol Psychiatry. 1996 Jun 1;39(11):970-5.

Involvement of the limbic system in multiple sclerosis patients with depressive disorders.

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First Neuroradiology Unit, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


This study investigates the relationship between depression and both anatomic and cerebral blood flow abnormalities in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Ten nondepressed MS patients were compared with 10 depressed MS patients matched for age, sex, and functional disability. Both groups were evaluated by means of neuropsychological tests, magnetic resonance imaging, and single-photon emission tomography imaging. There was no difference between the two groups with regard to the global cognitive score. Magnetic resonance imaging data showed no significant differences in the number, side, location, and area of the demyelinating lesions between the two groups; however, regional cerebral blood flow asymmetries in the limbic cortex did distinguish the two groups. Analysis of variance showed a significant effect of depression on the perfusion asymmetries in the limbic cortex. Finally, perfusion asymmetries in limbic cortex significantly correlated with depression test scores. Our findings suggest that depression in MS patients could be induced by a disconnection between subcortical and cortical areas involved in the function of the limbic system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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