Background factors and clinical symptoms of major depression with silent cerebral infarction.
We previously reported that major depression developing during or after the presenile period is frequently combined with silent cerebral infarction and that these patients have a high risk of stroke. Therefore, we investigated whether the background factors and clinical symptoms of patients with major depression with silent cerebral infarction [SCI(+)] different from those in patients with major depression without silent cerebral infarction [SCI(-)] before medical treatment.
Patients with major depression with onset after 50 years of age were classified based on magnetic resonance imaging findings into the SCI(+) (n = 37) or SCI(-) (n = 20) group. The diagnostic criteria for major depression were those of the American Psychiatry Association (DSM-III-R). Patients with stroke or focal neurological symptoms were excluded. The SCI(+) group was subclassified according to whether the infarction area was perforating, cortical, or mixed artery. Family history of affective disorder, risk factors for stroke, and Zung's Self-rated Depression Scale (SDS) score before medical treatment of the group were compared.
The SCI(+) group had a significantly lower (P < .05) frequency of family history of affective disorder but a significantly higher (P < .01) frequency of hypertension than did the SCI(-) group. The mean SDS score in the SCI(+) group was significantly higher than that in the SCI(-) group (P < .01). The mean SDS score of the mixed artery infarction group was higher than that of the perforating artery infarction group (P < .05).
Patients with major depression with silent cerebral infarction present more marked neurological factors and more severe depressive symptoms than do those without silent cerebral infarction. Because these features were more prominent in the patients with mixed artery infarction with broad obstructions, we consider that the area of brain damage caused by cerebral infarction is positively related to the severity of depressive symptoms.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association