Correlations between Stroop task performance and white matter lesion measures in late-onset major depression

Rikke B Dalby, Jesper Frandsen, M Mallar Chakravarty, Jamila Ahdidan, Leif Sørensen, Raben Rosenberg, Leif Østergaard, Poul Videbech

20 Citationer (Scopus)


Cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) are believed to play an important role in a subset of patients with late-onset depression by affecting the white matter connectivity in circuitries essential for mood and cognition. In this study we used diffusion tensor imaging-based (DTI-based) tractography to assess white matter fiber tracts affected by deep WMLs (DWMLs) in patients with late-onset major depression and age- and gender-matched controls. Tractography outcome, illustrated as pathways affected by DWMLs, was analyzed for associations with cognitive performance on the Stroop Test (ST). The patients (n=17) performed significantly worse on the ST than the controls (n=22). Poor performance on the ST correlated with higher lesion load. Regression analysis showed a significant correlation between poor performance on the ST and tracts affected by DWMLs in multiple brain areas in the control group, but very sparse correlation in the patient group. Our results suggest that DWMLs play an important role in the cognitive performance of controls,whereas their influence in depressed patients is overruled by additional, state-dependent factors. Future focus on the tract-specific localization of WMLs using DTI tractography may reveal important associations between neuroconnectivity and clinical measures.

TidsskriftPsychiatry Research
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)142-9
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 31 maj 2012
Udgivet eksterntJa


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