J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2002 Dec;6(2):117-127.

Hippocampal Volume in Elderly Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. ysw3280@intizen.com
  • 2National Chun-Cheon Hospital, Kangwon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, School of Medcine, Kyungbook National University, Taegu, Korea.


Many recent studies of relationship between geriatric depression and changes in brain have examined the structural abnormalities in hippocampus. Using MRI, the hippocampal volumes of patients with major depression were measured and compared with control subjects for research of above relationship. METHOD: Fourteen patients (early-onset five, late-onset nine) with major depressive disorder based on DSM-IV and fourteen age-matched normal controls are included. Applying semiautomated computer program to MRI, we measured and compared the hippocampal volumes in two groups. Moreover we identified the laterality and the correlation of the volumes with age of onset, duration of education, numbers of psychiatric admission, duration of illness, MMSE scores at admission, and severity of depression. RESULT: No significant difference was observed between the hippocampal volumes of patients with major depressive disorder and those of control subjects. A significant correlation in patients was observed between duration of illness and left hippocampal volume to cerebral volume ratio. In early-onset depressed patients, left hippocampal volume was larger than in late-onset depressed patients and the positive correlation was observed between MMSE scores at admission and left hippocampal volume to cerebral volume ratio. In late-onset depressed patients, there was the negative correlation between numbers of psychiatric admission and MMSE scores at admission as well as and between cerebral volume and age of onset.
Our study indicated no change in the volume of hippocampus among geriatric major depressive patients. So we suggest that more extensive and systematic studies for structural abnormality of hippocampus will be required.


Elderly; Major depressive disorder; Hippocampal volume; MRI
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