Background: We aimed to investigate structural abnormalities in first-episode remitted geriatric depression (RGD) with optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in closely matched patients and healthy control subjects and examine the relationship of performances on neuropsychological tests with regional gray matter volumes.
Methods: Nineteen subjects with first-episode RGD and 16 well-matched healthy control subjects were recruited for this study, and neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging were conducted on the subjects. The differences in regional gray matter volume were determined between these two groups by optimized VBM.
Results: The volumes of right superior frontal cortex, left postcentral cortex, and right middle temporal gyrus were significantly smaller in patients with RGD relative to healthy control subjects. However, patients with RGD had larger left cingulate gyrus volume compared with healthy control subjects. There was a significant negative correlation between left cingulate gyrus volume and Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test delayed recall raw score in patients with RGD.
Conclusion: These results reveal that RGD is associated with gray matter changes of certain brain regions hypothesized to influence cognition and might thus be involved in the psychopathology and pathophysiology of cognitive impairment in RGD.