Involvement of the limbic system in multiple sclerosis patients with depressive disorders

Umberto Sabatini, Carlo Pozzilli, Patrizia Pantano, Tatiana Koudriavtseva, Alessandro Padovani, Enrico Millefiorini, Claudio Di Biasi, Gian Franco Gualdi, Marco Salvetti, Gian Luigi Lenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the relationship between depression and both anatomic and cell cerebral blood flow abnormalities in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Ten nondepressed MS patients were compared with 10 depresses MS patients matched for age, sex, and functional disability. Both groups were evaluated by means of neuropsychological tests, magnetic resonance imaging, and single-photon emission tomography imaging. There was no difference between the two groups with regard to the global cognitive score. Magnetic resonance imaging data showed no significant differences in the number, side, location, and area of the demyelinating lesions between the two groups; however, regional cerebral blood flow asymmetries in the limbic cortex did distinguish the two groups. Analysis of variance showed a significant effect of depression on the perfusion asymmetries in the limbic cortex. Finally, perfusion asymmetries in limbic cortex significantly correlated with depression rest scores. Our findings suggest that depression in MS patients could be induced by a disconnection between subcortical and cortical areas involved in the function of the limbic system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-975
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1996


  • Depression
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Single photon emission computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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