Subcortical hyperintensities on MRI and activities of daily living in geriatric depression.
Data from 30 elderly inpatients with major depression were analyzed to explore the relationship between subcortical hyperintensities (SH) on MRI and activities of daily living (ADLs). A comparison of subjects based on a median split of the severity of SH revealed that subjects with greater SH performed worse on both instrumental and physical ADLs. A hierarchical multiple regression revealed that age, depression severity, neuropsychological test performance, and SH variables accounted for a total of 53% of the variance in ADL functioning. Severity of SH accounted for an additional 18% of the variance over and above the other three variables. Results suggest that severity of subcortical disease measured by MRI improves prediction of functional impairment in elderly individuals.