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White matter changes and late-life depressive symptoms: Longitudinal study

  • Andrew Teodorczuk (a1), John T. O'Brien (a1), Michael J. Firbank (a1), Leonardo Pantoni (a2), Anna Poggesi (a2), Timo Erkinjuntti (a3), Anders Wallin (a4), Lars-Olof Wahlund (a5), Alida Gouw (a6), Gunhild Waldemar (a7), Reinhold Schmidt (a8), José M. Ferro (a9), Hugues Chabriat (a10), Hansjörg Bäzner (a11) and Domenico Inzitari...

Abstract

Background

Evidence from cross-sectional studies suggests a link between cerebral age-related white matter changes and depressive symptoms in older people, although the temporal association remains unclear.

Aims

To investigate age-related white matter changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as an independent predictor of depressive symptoms at 1 year after controlling for known confounders.

Method

In a pan-European multicentre study of 639 older adults without significant disability, MRI white matter changes and demographic and clinical variables, including cognitive scores, quality of life, disability and depressive symptoms, were assessed at baseline. Clinical assessments were repeated at 1 year.

Results

Using logistic regression analysis, severity of white matter changes was shown to independently and significantly predict depressive symptoms at 1 year after controlling for baseline depressive symptoms, quality of life and worsening disability (P<0.01).

Conclusions

White matter changes pre-date and are associated with the development of depressive symptoms. This has implications for treatment and prevention of depression in later life.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Teodorczuk, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle General Hospital, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6BE, UK. Email: andrew.teodorczuk@ncl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes

References

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White matter changes and late-life depressive symptoms: Longitudinal study

  • Andrew Teodorczuk (a1), John T. O'Brien (a1), Michael J. Firbank (a1), Leonardo Pantoni (a2), Anna Poggesi (a2), Timo Erkinjuntti (a3), Anders Wallin (a4), Lars-Olof Wahlund (a5), Alida Gouw (a6), Gunhild Waldemar (a7), Reinhold Schmidt (a8), José M. Ferro (a9), Hugues Chabriat (a10), Hansjörg Bäzner (a11) and Domenico Inzitari...
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