Late life depression is associated with volumetric reductions of gray matter and increased prevalence of subcortical white matter lesions. Previous studies have shown a poorer treatment outcome in those with more severe structural brain abnormalities. In this study, quantitative and semi-quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures were studied in relation to response to a 12-week controlled antidepressant monotherapy trial.
MRI (1.5T) brain scans of 42 elderly inpatients with major depression, of which 23 were non-responder to a controlled 12-week antidepressant monotherapy trial, were acquired. In addition, clinical outcome was assessed after a one year period. Measures were volumes of global cerebral and subcortical structures.
After controlling for confounding, no differences were found between non-responders and responders after 12 weeks and after one year in volumes of cerebral gray and white matter, orbitofrontal cortex, hippocampus and white matter lesions.
Structural brain measures associated with late life depression may not be related to short-term treatment response. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.