Depressive Symptoms and Amygdala Volume in Elderly with Cerebral Small Vessel Disease: The RUN DMC Study

I W M van Uden, A G W van Norden, K F de Laat, L J B van Oudheusden, R A R Gons, I Tendolkar, M P Zwiers, F-E de Leeuw

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Introduction. Late onset depressive symptoms (LODSs) frequently occur in elderly with cerebral small vessel disease (SVD). SVD cannot fully explain LODS; a contributing factor could be amygdala volume. We investigated the relation between amygdala volume and LODS, independent of SVD in 503 participants with symptomatic cerebral SVD. Methods. Patients underwent FLAIR and T1 scanning. Depressive symptoms were assessed with structured questionnaires; amygdala and WML were manually segmented. The relation between amygdala volume and LODS/EODS was investigated and adjusted for age, sex, intracranial volume, and SVD. Results. Patients with LODS had a significantly lower left amygdala volume than those without (P = 0.02), independent of SVD. Each decrease of total amygdala volume (by mL) was related to an increased risk of LODS (OR = 1.77; 95% CI 1.02-3.08; P = 0.04). Conclusion. Lower left amygdala volume is associated with LODS, independent of SVD. This may suggest differential mechanisms, in which individuals with a small amygdala might be vulnerable to develop LODS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647869
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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