Structural neuroimaging research methods in geriatric depression

Matthew J. Hoptman, Faith M. Gunning-Dixon, Christopher F. Murphy, Kelvin O. Lim, George S. Alexopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Geriatric depression consists of complex and heterogeneous behaviors unlikely to be caused by a single brain lesion. However, there is evidence that abnormalities in specific brain structures and their interconnections confer vulnerability to the development of late-life depression. Structural magnetic resonance imaging methods can be used to identify and quantify brain abnormalities predisposing to geriatric depression and in prediction of treatment response. This article reviews several techniques, including morphometric approaches, study of white matter hyperintensities, diffusion tensor imaging, magnetization transfer imaging, t2 relaxography, and spectroscopy, that have been used to examine these brain abnormalities with a focus on the type of information obtained by each method as well as each method's limitations. The authors argue that the available methods provide complementary information and that, when combined judiciously, can increase the knowledge gained from neuroimaging findings and conceptually advance the field of geriatric depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-822
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Depression
  • Gray matter
  • Neuroimaging
  • White matter


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