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Structural Neuroimaging in Late-Life Mood Disorders 

Structural Neuroimaging in Late-Life Mood Disorders
Chapter:
Structural Neuroimaging in Late-Life Mood Disorders
Author(s):

Sean J. Colloby

and John T. O’Brien

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199796816.003.0032
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date: 25 November 2020

Affective disorder research has mainly focussed on studying many of the structures implicated within the limbic-cortical-striatal-pallidal-thalamic circuit. This chapter concentrates on structural MRI brain changes associated with unipolar major depression and bipolar disorder (BD) of late-life, with particular attention to structural imaging, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Structural brain deficits are associated with LLD and LLBD, with a pattern supporting the notion of ‘frontostriatal’ disturbances in affective disorders of late-life. Increased prevalence of WMH is another characteristic of LLD and LLBD, with perhaps location rather than burden being more important to their pathogeneses, but may also indicate their increased cerebrovascular risk factors. Microstructural DTI changes are largely in frontal regions in LLD but in LLBD have not been investigated. Future studies with larger clinically representative populations with further aid to elucidate the specific anatomy and aetiology of structural MRI changes in late-life mood disorders and investigate their relationship with clinical factors.

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