In a retrospective brain magnetic resonance imaging study, we evaluated the prevalence and severity of signal hyperintensities in 30 elderly depressed patients and 30 controls matched for age, sex and cerebrovascular risk factors. A semiquantitative scoring method was used to grade findings in T2-weighted and proton density images. The elderly depressed patients had more extended periventricular hyperintensities, especially in the frontal region (depressed vs. control, 87 vs. 57%, p < 0.05), pons (33 vs. 7%, p < 0.05) as well as hyperintensities in the putamen and globus pallidus (57 vs. 27%, p < 0.05). The third ventricle was more dilated in depressed patients than controls after adjustment for age and cerebrovascular risk factors. The global index for ventricular enlargement was correlated significantly (r = 0.36, p < 0.05) with the severity of the hyperintensity in depressed patients. Our results indicate that these hyperintensities, especially in the frontal region, pons and lenticular nuclei, and the dilatation of the third ventricle play an important role, through the frontal-subcortical circuits, in mood regulation of elderly depressed patients.
Tetsuya Iidaka, Department of Psychiatry, Kanto Teishin Hospital, 5-9-22, Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, 141 (Japan)
Received: July 14, 1995
Accepted: February 23, 1996
Published online: February 13, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 7
Vol. 36, No. 5, Year 1996 (Cover Date: 1996)
Journal Editor: Bogousslavsky, J. (Montreux)
ISSN: 0014–3022 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9913 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ENE
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