Hippocampal volume in geriatric depression.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: There is a growing literature on the importance of hippocampal volume in geriatric depression. METHODS: We examined hippocampal volume in a group of elderly depressed patients and a group of elderly control subjects (N = 66 geriatric depressed patients and 18 elderly nondepressed control subjects) recruited through Duke's Mental Health Clinical Research Center for the Study of Depression in the Elderly. The subjects received a standardized evaluation, including a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain. Patients had unipolar major depression and were free of comorbid major psychiatric illness and neurologic illness. Differences were assessed using t tests and linear regression modeling. RESULTS: Accounting for the effects of age, gender, and total brain volume, depressed patients tended to have smaller right hippocampal volume (p =.014) and left hippocampal volume (p =.073). Among depressed patients, age of onset was negatively but not significantly related to right hippocampal volume (p =.052) and to left hippocampal volume (p =.062). We noted that among subjects with either right or left hippocampal volume of 3 mL or less, the vast majority were patients rather than control subjects. CONCLUSIONS: These results support a role for hippocampal dysfunction in depression, particularly in late-age onset depression. Longitudinal studies examining both depressive and cognitive outcomes are needed to clarify the relationships between the hippocampus, depression, and dementia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Steffens, DC; Byrum, CE; McQuoid, DR; Greenberg, DL; Payne, ME; Blitchington, TF; MacFall, JR; Krishnan, KR

Published Date

  • August 15, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 48 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 301 - 309

PubMed ID

  • 10960161

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10960161

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3223

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0006-3223(00)00829-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States