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Molecular Imaging in Late-Life Depression 

Molecular Imaging in Late-Life Depression
Molecular Imaging in Late-Life Depression

Anand Kumar

, Olusola Ajilore

, Brent Forester

, Jaime Deseda

, Matthew Woodward

, and Emma Rhodes

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date: 22 October 2021

“Molecular imaging” elucidates discrete biological processes, including levels of cerebral proteins, measures of axonal and myelin integrity and biochemical pathways. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) has been used to demonstrate an abnormal deposition of neuritic plaques and the presence of neurofibrillar tangles in Alzheimer’s disease. Recent PET studies have shown similar pathophysiology in geriatric depression. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) has been used to detect microstructural brain changes in white matter. These findings have been associated with disease severity, treatment response/resistance and cognitive impairment in late-life depression. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) can be used to quantify the regional or global concentrations of cerebral proton and phosphorus biochemical markers. This methodology may yield insight into facets of neuropsychiatric disorders including neurotransmission, bioenergetic metabolism and cell membrane integrity. This chapter serves as an introduction to these neuroimaging techniques and their application in studying geriatric neuropsychiatric illnesses.

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