- •What is the primary question addressed in this study?
- ○Recent studies have implicated non-normative age-related processes in the pathogenesis of late life depression. The primary question tested in this study is whether dysfunction in one such age-related process, skeletal muscle mitochondrial function, is associated with and increases risk for late life depression.
- •What is the main finding of this study?
- ○The main finding of the study is that declining skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in older adults is associated with clinically significant depressive symptoms at follow-up.
- •What is the meaning of the finding?
- ○This study provides preliminary support for the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction may be a potential key pathophysiological mechanism in adults with late life depression.
Late-life depression (LLD) is a chronic and heterogeneous disorder. Recent studies have implicated non-normative age-related processes in its pathogenesis. This investigation examined both cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and LLD.
Data from 603 men and women from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging were analyzed, of whom 167 provided data from a follow-up visit. Muscle bioenergetics was measured by postexercise recovery rate of phosphocreatine (PCr) using phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale.
There was no cross-sectional association between baseline depression status and either the PCr recovery rate constant (kPCr; t = –0.553, df = 542; p = 0.580) or mitochondrial capacity largely independent of exercise intensity (adenosine triphosphate maximum [ATPmax]; t = 0.804, df = 553; p = 0.422). Covariate-adjusted Firth logistic regression models however showed that greater decreases in skeletal muscle mitochondrial function from baseline to follow-up were associated with higher odds of clinically significant depressive symptoms (CES-D ≥16) at follow-up (ΔATPmax: odds ratio = 2.63, χ2 = 5.62, df =1; p = 0.018; ΔkPCr: odds ratio = 2.32, χ2 = 5.79, df =1; p = 0.016).
Findings suggest that declining skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in older adults is associated with clinically significant depressive symptoms at follow-up, thereby providing preliminary support for the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction may be a potential key pathophysiological mechanism in adults with LLD.
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Published online: May 16, 2019
Accepted: March 29, 2019
Received in revised form: March 29, 2019
Received: November 26, 2018
© 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.