Clinical characteristics of magnetic resonance imaging-defined subcortical ischemic depression.
BACKGROUND: There is a substantial body of research supporting the vascular depression hypothesis of late-life depression. To update this hypothesis so it incorporates recent research, we propose that the term subcortical ischemic vascular depression may be a more accurate representation of the disease process. We sought to investigate this diagnosis as a construct by examining differences between depressed subjects with and without magnetic resonance imaging defined subcortical ischemic vascular depression. METHODS: This case-control study examined 139 depressed elderly subjects. Demographic data, psychiatric, medical, and family history, depressive symptomatology, and functional impairment were compared between groups dichotomized based on neuroimaging findings. RESULTS: Seventy-five (54%) of the subjects met neuroimaging criteria for subcortical ischemic vascular depression. Age was most strongly associated with increased prevalence of subcortical ischemic vascular depression. Lassitude and a history of hypertension were also positively associated with the diagnosis; a family history of mental illness and loss of libido were negatively associated with the diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: These data support that subcortical ischemic vascular depression may be a specific syndrome from other types of late-life depression. Further research is needed to further characterize this disorder, particularly in regards to cognitive function and treatment implications.
Krishnan, KRR; Taylor, WD; McQuoid, DR; MacFall, JR; Payne, ME; Provenzale, JM; Steffens, DC
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