Neuroimaging predictors for depressive symptoms in cerebral small vessel disease

J.H. Fu, K. Wong, V. Mok, X. Hu, Y. Xiong, Y. Chen, W.K. Tang, Xiangyan Chen, A. Wong, W. Chu, K.S. Wong, S. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Although cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is closely associated with late life depression, patients with even severe SVD may have no depressive symptoms. We postulate that concurrent brain atrophy may also involve in the pathogenesis of depressive symptoms in SVD. We aimed to investigate the relevance of brain atrophy in predicting depressive symptoms among patients with severe SVD. Methods We recruited 45 lacunar stroke patients who had diffuse white matter lesion (WML) and varying severity levels of depressive symptoms. We used a quantitative hybrid warping method to determine the volume of 99 brain regions for each patient. We assessed severity of depressive symptoms using the depression score of the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS-D). We first performed correlation analysis of each brain variable with the depression score. Significant variables were then entered separately into linear regression analysis to explore predictors of HADS-D, with adjustment of relevant clinical variables. Results The mean age (SD) of the 45 participants was 74.6 (8.3) years. The mean HADS-D score was 3.5, with score ranging from 0 to15. Variables that had a significant correlation coefficient with HADS-D were gender, hypertension, Oxford handicap scale, left inferior frontal gyrus, right subthalamic nucleus, left posterior limb of internal capsule, and right cerebellum. Regression analyses showed that only left inferior frontal gyrus atrophy (? = -0.354, p = 0.017) predicted HADS-D score after adjusted for other relevant clinical variables. Conclusion Concurrent atrophy of left inferior frontal gyrus is associated with depressive symptoms in elderly patients with severe SVD. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1043
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • depression
  • neuroimaging
  • small vessel disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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