Study Report

CitationColla, 2007 PubMed
Full InfoColla, M., Kronenberg, G., Deuschle, M., Meichel, K., Hagen, T., Bohrer, M. and Heuser, I. (2007) Hippocampal volume reduction and HPA-system activity in major depression. J Psychiatr Res, 41, 553-560

Hypothesis or Background Structural imaging studies investigating hippocampal volumes in patients suffering from major depression have yielded mixed results.
Sample Information24 unipolar depressed in-patients and 14 healthy controls
Method DetailHere, 24 unipolar depressed in-patients and 14 healthy controls carefully matched for age, gender, and years of education underwent quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Saliva cortisol was measured at 0800 and 1600 h in patients during a one-week wash-out and the following 4 weeks.
Method Keywordsmagnetic resonance imaging (MRI); salivary analysis
ResultHippocampal volumes were significantly reduced in the patient group even after adjusting for intracranial brain volume (ICV) and age. Across groups, age was significantly negatively correlated with uncorrected hippocampal volumes. In patients, severity of disease (baseline HAMD scores) and baseline cortisol levels were not related to hippocampal volumes. However, there was a negative association between duration of the index episode before hospitalization and hippocampal volumes. Additionally, hippocampal volumes were significantly negatively correlated with duration of illness. Finally, we observed a trend for higher hippocampal volumes in those patients who showed a subsequent decrease in cortisol levels under pharmacotherapy.

Relationships reported by Colla, 2007