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Determining Changes in Brain Structure Associated With Symptoms of Late-life Depression

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Meryl Butters, University of Pittsburgh Identifier:
First received: September 13, 2005
Last updated: April 6, 2015
Last verified: April 2015
This study will determine the changes in brain structure and function that are responsible for mood and cognition changes that are sometimes associated with late-life depression.

Late-Life Depression

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Pathways Linking Late-Life Depression to MCI & Dementia

Further study details as provided by Meryl Butters, University of Pittsburgh:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Changes in performance on a broad-based Neuropsychological Test Battery [ Time Frame: 3 years ]
    Changes in z-scores of the language, visuospatial, attention, memory and executive cognitive domains

Enrollment: 331
Study Start Date: August 2005
Study Completion Date: August 2011
Primary Completion Date: August 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:
The goal of this research study is to investigate the relationships among late-life depression (LLD), cognitive impairment and progressive neurodegeneration. The guiding hypothesis is that LLD patients have evolving cognitive impairments as a consequence of distinct underlying neuropathological changes, which frequently are expressed as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). These neuropathological and cognitive changes are risk modifiers, lowering brain reserve capacity, and in turn, increasing risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In order to pursue this goal we will enroll LLD, MCI, and normal control subjects to enrich our existing cohort to include a total of 150 elderly, non-demented, non-depressed subjects, 60 non-depressed MCI subjects and 270 LLD subjects. Using the joint infrastructure of the University of Pittsburgh's Advanced Center for Intervention and Services Research for Late-Life Mood Disorders and the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, we will complete a detailed neurobehavioral evaluation, including clinical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and biological markers, using these data to evaluate the factors associated with the development of MCI or dementia. Subjects will be studied annually for at least three years, allowing us to use longitudinal data to evaluate a series of linked hypotheses that postulate the pathways by which elderly, depressed patients develop cognitive impairment, and which may lead some to develop dementia.

Ages Eligible for Study:   55 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
150 elderly, non-demented, non-depressed subjects, 60 non-depressed mild cognitive impairment subjects and 270 late-life depression subjects

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of a mood disorder

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Major acute medical illnesses or injuries known to have significant direct effects on cognitive functioning (e.g., metastatic cancer, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury).
  • Uncorrectable sensory handicap (e.g., blindness), because they are unable to complete the cognitive test battery.
  • Exclusion criteria for MR scans include: cardiac pacemaker, aneurysm clip, cochlear implant, pregnancy, IUD, shrapnel, history of metal fragments in the eye, neurostimulators, weight of 250 lbs. or more, or claustrophobia.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00178087

United States, Pennsylvania
UPMC Late-Life Evaluation and Treatment Center
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15213
UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15213
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pittsburgh
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Meryl A. Butters, Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
  More Information


Responsible Party: Meryl Butters, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Identifier: NCT00178087     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01MH072947 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: September 13, 2005
Last Updated: April 6, 2015

Keywords provided by Meryl Butters, University of Pittsburgh:
late-life depression
mild cognitive impairment

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on August 21, 2017