Clinical characteristics of magnetic resonance imaging-defined subcortical ischemic depression.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Krishnan, KRR; Taylor, WD; McQuoid, DR; MacFall, JR; Payne, ME; Provenzale, JM; Steffens, DC

Published Date

  • February 15, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 390 - 397

PubMed ID

  • 14960292

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3223

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.biopsych.2003.08.014


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States