Absence of striatal volume differences between depressed subjects with no comorbid medical illness and matched comparison subjects.
OBJECTIVE: The striatum (caudate and putamen) appears to be important in the pathogenesis of depression. Some studies show smaller than normal striatal structure volumes in depressed subjects. This study compared striatal volumes in depressed and nondepressed women, screened to exclude major cerebrovascular disease risk factors and comorbid medical illness. METHOD: Caudate and putamen volumes were measured from magnetic resonance imaging scans of 24 depressed women and 24 matched nondepressed comparison subjects. RESULTS: Caudate and putamen volumes were not significantly different between depressed and nondepressed groups. CONCLUSIONS: These findings differ from those of previous studies, possibly because of the exclusion of subjects with cerebrovascular risk factors in this study.