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Anxiety symptoms are associated with smaller insular and orbitofrontal cortex volumes in late-life depression.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Increasing understanding of the neural correlates of anxiety symptoms in late-life depression (LLD) could inform the development of more targeted and effective treatments. METHODS:Grey matter volume (GMV) was assessed with volumetric magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of 113 adults ?60 years with MDD using the following regions of interest: amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and temporal cortex. RESULTS:After controlling for demographic (age, sex, education) and clinical variables (antidepressant use, anxiolytic use, duration of illness, medical comorbidity, cognitive functioning), greater severity of anxiety symptoms was associated with lower GMV bilaterally in the insula, F(1,102) = 6.63, p?=?0.01, and OFC, F(1,102) = 8.35, p?=?0.005. By contrast, depressive symptom severity was significantly associated with lower bilateral insula volumes, F(1,102) = 6.43, p?=?0.01, but not OFC volumes, F(1,102) = 5.37, p?=?0.02. LIMITATIONS:Limitations include (1) the relatively mild nature of anxiety symptoms in our sample; (2) the cross-sectional research design, which prohibits inferences of directionality; (3) the relatively homogenous demographic of the sample, and (4) the exclusion of participants with significant psychiatric comorbidity, suicidality, or cognitive impairment. CONCLUSIONS:Decreased OFC volumes may serve as a unique biomarker of anxiety symptoms in LLD. Future longitudinal and clinical studies with long-term follow up and more diverse samples will help further elucidate the biological, psychological, and social factors affecting associations between anxiety and brain morphology in LLD.

SUBMITTER: Laird KT 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6750975 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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