Three-Dimensional Surface Mapping of the Caudate Nucleus in Late-Life Depression

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O'Hara St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.24). 10/2008; 17(1):4-12. DOI: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e31816ff72b
Source: PubMed


To compare the volumes of the caudate nucleus, using traditional volumetry and a three-dimensional brain mapping technique, in a group of individuals with late-life depression and a group of age- and education-equated nondepressed comparison subjects.
University Medical Center.
Twenty-three nondemented subjects with late-life depression and 15 age- and education-equated elderly comparison subjects (depressed mean years of age: 70.5 +/- 5.7 SD, comparison subjects = 69.9 years +/- 6.4) with no history of psychiatric or neurologic disease.
Structural magnetic resonance imaging. Three-dimensional (3-D) surface models were created from manually traced outlines of the caudate nucleus from spoiled gradient echo images. Models were geometrically averaged across subjects and statistical maps created to localize any regional volume differences between groups.
Relative to comparison subjects, depressed subjects had significantly lower mean volumes for both the left (p = 0.029) and right (p = 0.052) caudate nucleus as well as total caudate volume (p = 0.032). Total volumes were 13.1% less in the depressed group (13.5% on the left and 12.6% on the right). 3-D maps further localized these reductions to the caudate head. Volume reductions were correlated with depression severity, as measured by the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
Late-life depression is associated with left and right caudate nucleus reduction especially in anterior portions. Among depressed subjects, greater caudate reduction was associated with more severe depression. These results are consistent with growing evidence that the anterior caudate nucleus, especially the head, may be structurally and functionally abnormal in affective disorders.

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    • "Smaller caudate volume was found bilaterally in scans performed at disease inception in adolescent-onset, mostly psychotropic-naïve patients with depression , suggesting that structural deficits may be present early in depressive illness (Shad et al., 2012). Significantly smaller caudate volume was observed in elderly untreated depressed patients, with greater caudate reduction being associated with more severe depression (Butters et al., 2009). Increased right caudate rCBF (Monkul et al., 2012) and lower glucose metabolic rate in the bilateral caudate (Baxter et al., 1985) have also been reported in untreated depression. "
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    • "The caudate and putamen nuclei are involved in motor and cognitive functions (DeLong and Georgopoulos, 1981; DeLong et al., 1984; Middleton and Strick, 1994). Disruptions in the afferent and efferent connections and alterations within the nuclei themselves have been linked to motor disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease (DeLong and Georgopoulos, 1981; DeLong et al., 1984; Marsden, 1986), and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia (Buchsbaum et al., 1992; Hietala et al., 1995; Roberts et al., 1996, 2005; Howes et al., 2009; see also as reviews Perez-Costas et al., 2010; Simpson et al., 2010), bipolar disorder (Amsterdam and Newberg, 2007; Cousins et al., 2009), and major depression (Matsuo et al., 2008; Butters et al., 2009; Khundakar et al., 2011). Although some aspects of these diseases can be studied in postmortem human tissue, the use of animal models is also necessary. "
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