Microvascular Disease Linked To Late-Life Depression

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Miranda T. Schram PhD Associate professor Department of Medicine Maastrich

Dr. Schram

Miranda T. Schram PhD
Associate professor
Department of Medicine
Maastrich

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Late-life depression, also called vascular depression, is highly prevalent, recurrent and difficult to treat. Anti-depressants only relieve symptoms in about 50% of the patients. So we urgently need new treatment targets for this disease.

In this study we found that microvascular dysfunction, irrespective if you measure this by biomarkers in the blood or in the brain, is associated with an increased risk for depression. Moreover, we found evidence from longitudinal studies that microvascular dysfunction, at least of the brain, may actually be a cause of depression. To investigate this, we undertook a meta-analyses of data from over 40,000 individuals of whom over 9,000 had a depression.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Our findings support the hypothesis that microvascular dysfunction is causally linked to late-life depression. This may have clinical implications, as microvascular dysfunction might provide a novel target for the prevention and treatment of late-life vascular depression.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: As the microvasculature is hard to study, there is a need to develop more advanced and powerful imaging techniques, such as 7T MRI or diffuse tensor imaging, which may provide more sensitive research tools with more detailed structural information on microvascular changes as seen in CSVD. Longitudinal studies are needed to assess whether a broad range of microvascular function measures have a causal role in the development of complex diseases like depression. We currently undertake such efforts in the Maastricht Study (https://www.demaastrichtstudie.nl/research).

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We would like to thank all researchers world-wide that have published the data that have been used in this meta-analysis. By strong collaborations within the research community we will be able to unravel the complex mechanisms of diseases like depression.

Disclosures: none

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Citation:

van Agtmaal MJM, Houben AJHM, Pouwer F, Stehouwer CDA, Schram MT. Association of Microvascular Dysfunction With Late-Life DepressionA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis . JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 31, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.0984

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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