Late-Life Depression Is Associated With Reduced Cortical Amyloid Burden: Findings From the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Depression Project

Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and the ADNI Depression Project

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: We evaluated the role of cortical amyloid deposition as a factor contributing to memory dysfunction and increased risk of dementia associated with late-life depression (LLD). Methods: A total of 119 older adult participants with a current diagnosis of major depression (LLD) from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) Depression Project study and 119 nondepressed (ND) cognitively unimpaired participants matched on age, sex, and APOE genotype were obtained from the ADNI database. Results: Thirty-three percent of LLD participants met ADNI criteria for mild cognitive impairment. Compared with ND individuals, the LLD group exhibited less global amyloid beta (Aβ) accumulation (p = .05). The proportion of amyloid positivity in the LLD group was 19.3% compared with 31.1% for the ND participants (p = .02). Among LLD participants, global Aβ was not associated with lifetime number of depressive episodes, lifetime length of depression, length of lifetime selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use, or lifetime length of untreated depression (p >. 21 for all). Global Aβ was associated with worse memory performance (p = .05). Similar results were found in secondary analyses restricting comparisons to the cognitively unimpaired LLD participants as well as when comparing the LLD group with an ND group that included participants with mild cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Contrary to expectation, the LLD group showed less Aβ deposition than the ND group and Aβ deposition was not associated with depression history characteristics. Aβ was associated with memory, but this relationship did not differ between LLD and ND. Our results suggest that memory deficits and accelerated cognitive decline reported in previous studies of LLD are not due to greater cortical Aβ accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-765
Number of pages9
JournalBiological psychiatry
Volume89
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Cognition
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Late-life depression
  • Mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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