International Psychogeriatrics

White matter microstructural abnormalities in late-life depression

Qiong Yang a1, Xuebing Huang a2, Nan Hong a1 and Xin Yu a2c1
a1 Department of Radiology, Peking University People's Hospital, Beijing, China
a2 Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing, China

Article author query
yang q   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
huang x   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hong n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
yu x   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Objective: To evaluate the location and the degree of white matter damage in late-life depression using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

Methods: Thirty-one patients with late-life depression and 15 healthy volunteers matched for age, gender and years of education received conventional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and MR-diffusion tensor scanning. The fractional anisotropy (FA) values of white matter were measured respectively in frontal and temporal regions and the corpus callosum.

Results: FA values were significantly decreased in the frontal (superior and middle frontal gyrus), and temporal (right parahippocampal gyrus) regions of elderly patients with depression compared with healthy controls.

Conclusion: Microstructural changes in the frontal (superior and middle frontal gyrus) and temporal (right parahippocampal gyrus) areas are associated with late-life depression.

(Received March 15 2006)
(returned for revision April 11 2006)
(revised version received November 27 2006)
(Accepted November 28 2006)
(Published Online March 9 2007)

Key Words: late-life depression; MR-diffusion tensor imaging; fractional anisotropy.

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Xin Yu, Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, Huayuanbeilu 51, Beijing 100083, China. Phone: +86 1082801999; Fax: +86 1062026310. Email: