Tuesday, 19 August 2003: 09:00-10:30
Erie Room (Sheraton Hotel and Towers)

S025 Clinical Neuroscience of Late-Life Mood Disorders

Late-life mood disorders are among the most common mental disorders in the elderly. Anatomical, physiological and biochemical changes have been identified in patients with late life depression using modern neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and physiological approaches such as positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). MRI studies indicated that depression in the elderly is associated with smaller brain volumes and an increase in the volume of high intensity lesions in the parenchyma when compared with controls. The high intensity lesions occur predominantly in the white matter regions of the brain. Studies using MRS demonstrate that “normal appearing white matter” (NAWM) may be physiologically abnormal in patients with mood disorders when compared with controls. Neuropathological studies suggest that vascular changes may provide an important substrate to the pathophysiololgy of depression in the elderly. Additional physiological studies using PET indicate widespread impairment in neuronal circuits in patients with mood disorders identified using estimates of glucose metabolism and cerebral blood flow. These physiological abnormalities may change with treatment and could be of potential assistance in identifying subgroups that may not respond to conventional pharmacotherapeutic interventions. In this symposium, we will address the biological basis of mood disorders from anatomical, neurophysiological and post mortem perspectives. Each method provides unique information on the underlying biological correlates of mood disorders. By integrating them in a holistic manner, we will present state-of-the-art science and a cohesive approach to the biological basis of depression in the elderly.
Chair:Anand Kumar
 S025-001 White Matter Abnormalities in Late-Life Major Depression: Biological and Clinical Implications
Anand Kumar
 S025-002 Vascular Mechanisms and Late Life Depression
K. Ranga R. Krishnan
 S025-003 Brain Imaging in Late-Onset Major Depression: Testing the Vascular Hyptohesis
Harold A. Sackeim

Back to The Eleventh International Congress