A magnetic resonance imaging study of putamen nuclei in major depression

Mustafa M. Husain, William M. McDonald, P. Murali Doraiswamy, Gary S. Figiel, Chul Na, P. Rodrigo Escalona, Orest B. Boyko, Charles B. Nemeroff, K. Ranga R Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


The basal ganglia are recognized as putative mediators of certain cognitive and behavioral symptoms of major depression. Moreover, patients with basal ganglia lesions have repeatedly exhibited significant affective symptomatology, including apathy, depressive mood, and psychosis. Using high resolution, axial T2 intermediate magnetic resonance images, and a systematic sampling stereologic method, we assessed putamen nuclei volumes in 41 patients with major depression (DSM-III) and 44 healthy volunteer controls of similar age. Depressed patients had significantly smaller putamen nuclei compared with controls. Age was negatively correlated with putamen size in both groups. These results are the first demonstration of diminished putamen volumes in depression and further support a role for basal ganglia structures in the etiopathogenesis of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research: Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1991


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • basal ganglia
  • limbic system
  • major depression
  • putamen nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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