White Matter Lesions, Carotid and Coronary Atherosclerosis in Late-Onset Depression and Healthy Controls

Torben Albert Devantier, B. L. Norgaard, Mikael Kjær Poulsen, E Garde, K. A. Ovrehus, M Marwan, S Achenbach, D. Dey, L. H. Sørensen, P Videbech

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) are more common in individuals with late-onset or late-life depression. It has been proposed that carotid atherosclerosis may predispose to WMLs by inducing cerebral hypoperfusion. This hemodynamic effect of carotid atherosclerosis could be important for the formation of WMLs in depression. Methods: The case-control study included 29 patients with late-onset major depressive disorder and27 controls matched for sex, age, and tobacco use. WML volume, carotid intima-media thickness, and coronary plaque volume were assessed using magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound scan, and coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography, respectively. Results: The mean age for the total sample was 59.7 4.7 years. There was no difference in carotid intima-media thickness between patients and controls (p = 0.164), whereas a higher WML volume in the patients was found (p = 0.051). In both patients and controls, WML volume was associated with carotid but not with coronary atherosclerosis. In adjusted multiple linear regression, a 0.1 mm increase in averaged carotid intima-media thickness was associated with a 52% (95% CI: 8.4-112, p = 0.032) increase in WML volume. The association between carotid intima-media thickness and WML volume was, however, similar in patients and controls. Conclusions: In older persons aged between 50 and 70 years, WMLs do not seem to be a part of generalized atherosclerotic disease, but seem to be dependent on atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries. Carotid atherosclerosis, however, could not explain the higher WML load observed in the depressed patients, and thus, studies are needed to establish the mechanisms linking depression and WMLs.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)369-377
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

ISI Document Delivery No.: DN7XX Times Cited: 0 Cited Reference Count: 30 Devantier, Torben Albert Norgaard, Bjarne Linde Poulsen, Mikael Kjaer Garde, Ellen Ovrehus, Kristian Altern Marwan, Mohamed Achenbach, Stephan Dey, Damini Sorensen, Leif Hougaard Videbech, Poul Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation; Augustinus Fonden, Copenhagen, Denmark The study was supported by grants from the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and Augustinus Fonden, Copenhagen, Denmark. 0 1 Elsevier science inc New york


  • depression major depressive disorder atherosclerosis white matter lesions intima-media thickness coronary artery disease late-life depression intima-media thickness brain images disorder robust plaque accurate optimization registration angiography Psychiatry Psychology


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