Fiber medicine

Retinal lower nerve fiber layer thickness linked to late-life depression

Lower retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness is associated with an increased risk of clinically relevant depressive symptoms and more depressive symptoms over time, according to the results of a study published in Open JAMA Network.

Neurodegeneration in various regions of the brain can cause multiple symptoms associated with late onset depression, including mood, cognitive, and behavioral changes. Although it has been suspected that neurodegeneration may contribute to depression, data on the potential association are limited.

The objective of the present study was to determine the association between lower RNFL, a marker of neurodegeneration, with clinically relevant depressive symptoms and depressive symptoms over time.


Continue reading

The population-based cohort study included patients from the general population in the Netherlands with a baseline examination between 2010 and 2020. Using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9, symptoms depression were assessed at baseline and annually. The presence of clinically relevant depressive symptoms was defined as a PHQ-9 score of 10 or greater.

The study sample included 4,934 people (mean age, 59.7 years; 50.8% female) with depressive symptoms over time. During a median follow-up of 5.0 years, 445 participants were newly diagnosed with clinically relevant depressive symptoms.

After adjusting for demographic, cardiovascular, and lifestyle factors, lower RNFL thickness was significantly associated with a higher incidence of clinically relevant depressive symptoms (for 1 SD, hazard ratio, 1.11; 95% CI %, 1.01-1.23) and more depressive symptoms over time (rate ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.06).

The study had several limitations, including the use of PHQ-9 for the diagnosis of major depressive disorder, unmeasured confounders, and potential underestimation of the reported association due to missing data, error measurement or inability to account for post-departure antidepressant use. the measure.

“The present population-based cohort study found that lower RNFL thickness was associated with a higher incidence of clinically relevant depressive symptoms and more depressive symptoms over time. Therefore, neurodegeneration may contribute to the early pathobiology of late onset depression and monitoring of retinal neurodegeneration may provide a means to identify those at risk for late onset depression,” the researchers concluded.

Reference

van der Heide FCT, Steens ILM, Geraets AFJ, et al. Association of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, an index of neurodegeneration, with depressive symptoms over time. JAMA Netw Open. Published online November 1, 2021. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.34753