Gray matter abnormalities within frontal-subcortical and limbic networks are hypothesized to play a key role in the pathophysiology of late-life depression. In this work, gray matter abnormalities in late-life depression are examined in a systematic review and meta-analysis of magnetic resonance imaging studies. In the systematic review, 27 articles were identified that compared participants with late-life depression with comparison group participants, and 17 studies were suitable for inclusion in meta-analyses of volumes of the whole brain, orbitofrontal cortex, caudate, hippocampus, putamen, and thalamus. Volume reductions were detected in 7 of 15 comparisons of the hippocampus and a meta-analysis revealed a significant, but small, effect size. Although examined by fewer studies, meta-analyses also revealed significant volume reductions in the orbitofrontal cortex, putamen, and thalamus. A more systematic and comprehensive analysis of the global distribution of gray matter abnormalities, and an examination of subcortical abnormalities were identified as key areas for future research.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry

Publication Date

2013

Volume

21

Pages

184 - 195