Objective Post-stroke depression (PSD) is one of the most frequent psychiatric symptoms after a stroke event. The role of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) associated with PSD in older patients remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the volume and location of white matter microstructure abnormalities among older patients with early-onset PSD. Methods Older ([≥]55 years) patients with acute cerebral infarction and hospitalized in King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospitals stroke unit from October 2019 to September 2020 were recruited. Participants were assessed with the Montgomery-[A]sberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) within three months after the onset of stroke. All patients had MRI scans. The brain images were segmented into four regions via left/right, frontal/dorsal plains. Two WMHs volume detections (visual rating vs. semi-automated WMHs volumetric detection) were employed on the fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images (FLAIR) for each segment. The study then investigated the association between WMHs volume and MADRS score with regression analysis. Results The study included twenty-nine patients with acute stroke. Total WMHs volume and segmented regions were not statistically associated with the MADRS score. However, there was a trend in different WHMs volume of the left anterior segment between depressed and non-depressed groups (t-test 2.058, p = 0.055). Further, demographic and clinical data showed no association with depressive symptoms. Conclusion The volume of WHMs might not contribute to the development of early-onset PSD in older patients. This study showed a potential of a quantitative MRI analysis in clinical practice. Further investigation with a larger group of patients is needed.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience