Impact of white matter lesions on depression in the patients with alzheimer’s disease

Jung Jae Lee, Eun Young Lee, Seok Bum Lee, Joon Hyuk Park, Tae Hui Kim, Hyun Ghang Jeong, Jae Hyoung Kim, Ji Won Han, Ki Woong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective : Comorbid depression is common in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). An increase in white matter lesions (WMLs) has been associated with depression in both elderly individuals with normal cognition and patients with Alzheimer's disease. We investigated whether the severity and location of WMLs influence the association between WMLs and comorbid depression in AD. Methods : We enrolled 93 AD patients from Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. We administered both the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Inventory (MINI) and the Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Packet (CERAD-K) clinical and neuropsychological battery. Subjects also underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We diagnosed AD according to the criteria of the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association. We diagnosed depressive disorders according to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, and evaluated the severity of depressive symptoms using the Korean version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-K). We quantified the WML volumes from the brain MRI using a fully automated segmentation algorithm. Results : The log of the WML volume in the frontal lobe was significantly associated with depressive disorders (odds ratio=1.905, 95% CI=1.027–3.533, p=0.041), but not with the severity of depressive symptoms as measured by the GDS-K. Conclusion : The WML volume in the frontal lobe conferred a risk of comorbid depressive disorders in AD, which implies that comorbid depression in AD may be attributed to vascular causes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Korean Neuropsychiatric Association.


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression
  • White matter lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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