Abstract

Background: Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) and neurodegeneration may be involved in the development and persistence of late-life depressive symptoms, but longitudinal evidence is scarce. We investigated the longitudinal associations of markers of CSVD and brain atrophy with incident depressive symptoms and the course of depressive symptoms, above and below 60 years of age. Methods: White matter hyperintensity volumes (WMH), presence of lacunar infarcts and cerebral microbleeds, and white matter, grey matter, and cerebral spinal fluid volumes were assessed at baseline by 3T MRI in The Maastricht Study (mean age 59.5 +/- 8.5 years, 49.6% women, n=4,347; 16,535 person-years of follow-up). Clinically relevant depressive symptoms (9-item Patient Health Questionnaire >= 10) were assessed at baseline and annually over seven years. We used Cox regression and multinomial logistic regression analyses adjusted for demographic, cardiovascular, and lifestyle risk factors. Results: Above 60 years of age, larger WMH volumes were associated with an increased risk for incident depressive symptoms (HR[95%CI]:1.24[1.04;1.48] per SD) and a persistent course of depressive symptoms (OR:1.44[1.04;2.00] per SD). Total CSVD burden was associated with persistent depressive symptoms irrespective of age (adjusted OR:1.58[1.03;2.43]), while no associations were found for general markers of brain atrophy. Limitationss: Our findings need replication in other large-scale population-based studies. Conclusions: Our findings may suggest a temporal association of larger WMH volume with the incidence and persistence of late-life depression in the general population and may provide a potential target for the prevention of chronic late-life depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-447
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume292
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Cerebral small vessel disease
  • Brain atrophy
  • Epidemiology
  • Cohort studies
  • LATE-LIFE DEPRESSION
  • WHITE-MATTER HYPERINTENSITIES
  • TEMPORAL-LOBE ATROPHY
  • VASCULAR DEPRESSION
  • MICROVASCULAR DYSFUNCTION
  • TISSUE SEGMENTATION
  • MAJOR DEPRESSION
  • OLDER-ADULTS
  • RISK
  • DEMENTIA

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