Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Jun 23;95(13):7654-8.

Late-onset minor and major depression: early evidence for common neuroanatomical substrates detected by using MRI.

Author information

Departments of Psychiatry, Radiology and Biostatistics and Epidemiology University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


The purpose of our study was to examine the neuroanatomical correlates of late-onset minor and major depression and to compare them with similar measures obtained from nondepressed controls. Our study groups were comprised of 18 patients with late-onset minor depression, 35 patients diagnosed with late-onset major depression, and 30 nondepressed controls. All subjects were scanned by using a 1. 5-tesla MRI scanner. Absolute whole brain volume and normalized measures of prefrontal and temporal lobe volumes were obtained and used for comparison among groups. Our findings indicate that patients with minor depression present with specific neuroanatomical abnormalities that are comparable with the major depression group but significantly different from the controls. Normalized prefrontal lobe volumes show a significant linear trend with severity of depression, with volumes decreasing with illness severity. Whole brain volumes did not differ significantly among groups. These findings have broad implications for the biology of late-life depression and suggest that there may be common neurobiological substrates that underlie all clinically significant forms of late-onset mood disturbances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center