Neural correlates of memory in depression measured by brain perfusion SPECT at rest


Hideki Azuma, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan. Email:


Aim:  Brain metabolism activated studies have indicated associations between memory and the anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus in patients with depression. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate memory function, measured as performance on the Wechsler Memory Scale–Revised (WMS-R), and its relationship to brain perfusion using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) at rest in patients with depression.

Methods:  The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) and WMS-R were measured for 17 patients with depression by an independent clinical evaluation team. Voxel-based correlation analyses were performed with statistical parametric mapping at an extent threshold of 200 voxels. Associations were controlled for state and trait factors.

Results:  WMS-R measurements of verbal, visual, and general memory were inversely correlated with brain perfusion in the right anterior cingulate cortex, left premotor cortices, and both regions, respectively. The HAMD directly correlated with brain perfusion in the right anterior cingulate cortex.

Conclusion:  Brain perfusion SPECT measurements of the anterior cingulate cortex at rest were associated with the severity of depression and immediate memory scores measured with the WMS-R.