Objective: This study tested the hypothesis that microstructural abnormalities in white matter areas of the brain containing frontostriatal tracts are associated with a low rate of remission of geriatric depression.
Method: Thirteen older patients with major depression received open, but controlled, treatment with citalopram at a target daily dose of 40 mg for 12 weeks. Diffusion tensor imaging was used to determine fractional anisotropy in preselected white matter regions.
Results: Survival analysis with Cox's proportional hazards model revealed that lower fractional anisotropy of the right and the left frontal white matter regions 15 mm above the anterior commissure-posterior commissure plane was associated with a low remission rate after age was considered. Remission was not significantly associated with fractional anisotropy of lower frontal regions or a temporal region.
Conclusions: Microstructural white matter abnormalities lateral to the anterior cingulate may be associated with a low rate of remission of geriatric depression.