BACKGROUND: Subgenual prefrontal cortex (SGPFC) volume reduction has been reported in middle age adults with major depression (MD) or bipolar affective disorder. In this study, the authors test the hypothesis that SGPFC reduction is present in adolescent onset MD, and examine differences in the magnitude of reduction in younger versus older women. METHODS: Subgenual prefrontal cortex volume was measured from T1 weighted MR images in (1) 30 young women with early onset MD versus eight age-matched controls, and (2) 18 middle aged women with recurrent MD versus nine age-matched controls. RESULTS: Left SGPFC volume was reduced in adolescent and middle aged females with depression. The magnitude of the difference between depressed and control groups (average 19% difference) was similar in younger and older women. CONCLUSIONS: Left subgenual cingulate volume reductions are present in young women with adolescent onset MD.
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