Study Report

CitationFrodl, 2006 PubMed
Full InfoFrodl, T., Schaub, A., Banac, S., Charypar, M., Jager, M., Kummler, P., Bottlender, R., Zetzsche, T., Born, C., Leinsinger, G. et al. (2006) Reduced hippocampal volume correlates with executive dysfunctioning in major depression. J Psychiatry Neurosci, 31, 316-323.

Hypothesis or Background Dysfunction of neuronal plasticity or remodelling seems to contribute to the pathopysiology of major depression and may cause the well-documented hippocampal changes in depression. We aimed to investigate whether reduced hippocampal volumes correlate with executive dysfunctioning or memory dysfunctioning or with depression severity.
Sample InformationWe recruited 34 inpatients with a previous or current episode of major depression from the department of psychiatry at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany. We examined the 34 patients and 34 healthy control subjects
Method DetailWe examined the 34 patients and 34 healthy control subjects with structural high resolution MRI. We assessed cognitive functions with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) and severity of depression with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
Method Keywordsmagnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
ResultHippocampal volumes and frontal lobe volumes were significantly smaller in patients, compared with healthy control subjects. Furthermore, lower hippocampal volumes were correlated with poorer performance in the WCST. No significant correlations were found between hippocampal volumes and RAVLT performance or severity of depression.
ConclusionsThe present findings emphasize that patients with reduced hippocampal volumes show more executive dysfunctions than their counterparts. Thus, the mechanisms resulting in reduced hippocampal volumes seem to be related to the development of major depression.

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