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Brain Abnormalities in Late-Onset Major Depression

This study has been completed.
The Danish Medical Research Council
Information provided by:
University of Aarhus Identifier:
First received: November 30, 2005
Last updated: October 21, 2009
Last verified: October 2009
The objective of this project is to examine the state of the brain in people over 50 years old suffering from late-onset depression by means of an extensive clinical assessment programme, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neuropsychological testing, neurological examination, eye examination as well as blood and saliva samples. The results are to be compared with results from a control group matched for gender and age.

Condition Intervention
Major Depression
Other: Clinical examination program

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Structural and Functional Cerebral Findings in Late-Onset Major Depression

Further study details as provided by University of Aarhus:

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA

Enrollment: 44
Study Start Date: November 2005
Study Completion Date: December 2008
Intervention Details:
    Other: Clinical examination program
    Psychiatric/clinical interview MRI scan Blood samples Saliva samples Eye examination
Detailed Description:

Major depression is a frequent and serious disorder with different prognoses and complications with respect to lack of treatment response, recurrence and suicide.

MRI of the brain can provide information about changes in the brain tissue with depression, e.g. lesions of nerve connections, small thrombi or changes in the blood flow. These changes appear primarily after the age of 50 and are seen in cases of diabetes and high blood pressure. Furthermore, the connection between disruptions in the body's stress response system and depression will be explored, which is very important since studies indicate that stress and depression can affect certain brain parts permanently. This will give us a better understanding of the connection between brain changes, neuropsychology and depression prognosis, which is decisive for accurate diagnostics, effective treatment and targeted prevention of the disease in the long run.

The project is part of a larger clinical assessment programme in the Neuropsychiatric Unit under the Centre for Basic Psychiatric Research, Aarhus Psychiatric Hospital, Denmark, which gives us unique possibilities of combining research and daily clinical work. The hope is in the future to be able to offer patients in the risk group better assessment and treatment to prevent complications and recurrence.


Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
  1. Subjects with first-episode late-onset major depression from psychiatric hospital or clinic
  2. Healthy controls

Inclusion Criteria:

  • first time major depression
  • age over 50 years
  • Caucasian
  • admitted at a psychiatric hospital or treated at a local psychiatric clinic in Aarhus Amt

Exclusion Criteria:

  • major brain damage (e.g. stroke, epilepsy, trauma)
  • major alcohol or drug abuse
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00260468

Centre for Psychiatric Research, Aarhus University Hospital
Risskov, Denmark, DK-8240
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Aarhus
The Danish Medical Research Council
Study Director: Raben Rosenberg, Professor, MD, DrMedSc Aarhus University Hospital
Principal Investigator: Videbech Poul, Professor, MD, DrMedSc Aarhus University Hospital
Study Chair: Leif Østergaard, Professor, MD, DrMedSc, PhD Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN), Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: Professor Poul Videbech, MD, DrMedSc, Centre for Psychiatric Research, Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denamrk Identifier: NCT00260468     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 20051050
Study First Received: November 30, 2005
Last Updated: October 21, 2009

Keywords provided by University of Aarhus:
Major depression
Magnetic resonance imaging
White matter lesions
Magnetization transfer
Vascular risk factors

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on March 28, 2017