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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 682092, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Microbleeds in Late-Life Depression: Comparison of Early- and Late-Onset Depression

1Department of Neurology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital of Tongji University, Middle Yanchang Road No. 301, Zhabei District, Shanghai 200072, China
2Yiwu Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Zhejiang, China
3Department of Radiology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital of Tongji University, Shanghai, China

Received 24 September 2013; Revised 21 January 2014; Accepted 21 January 2014; Published 26 February 2014

Academic Editor: Yoshito Tsushima

Copyright © 2014 Chao Feng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Late-life depression could be classified roughly as early-onset depression (EOD) and late-onset depression (LOD). LOD was proved to be associated with cerebral lesions including white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and silent brain infarctions (SBI), differently from EOD. However, it is unclear whether similar association is present between LOD and microbleeds which are also silent lesions. In this study, 195 patients of late-life depression were evaluated and divided into EOD, presenile-onset depression (POD), and LOD groups; 85 healthy elderly controls were enrolled as controls. Subjects were scanned by MRI including susceptibility weighted images to evaluate white matter hyperintensities (WMH), silent brain infarctions (SBI), and microbleeds. The severity of depression was evaluated with 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale. Psychosocial factors were investigated with Scale of Life Events and Lubben Social Network Scale. Logistic regression and linear regression were performed to identify the independent risk factors for depression. Results showed that LOD patients had higher prevalence of microbleeds than EOD, POD, and control patients. The prevalence of lobar microbleeds and microbleeds in the left hemisphere was the independent risk factor for the occurrence of LOD; a high number of microbleeds were associated with severe state of LOD, whereas life events and lack of social support were more important for EOD and POD. All these results indicated that Microbleeds especially lobar microbleeds and microbleeds in the left hemisphere were associated with LOD but not with EOD.