Disorders of mood and cognition overlap in the elderly and there is an emerging consensus that both groups of disorders share neurobiological substrates.Methods
Salient peer reviewed articles focusing on late-life depression, structural neuroimaging and recent developments in positron emission tomography based in vivo protein imaging.Results
Epidemiological and clinical evidence indicates that mood and cognition in the elderly are clinically inter-related and common neurobiological mechanisms may underlie both groups of disorders. Degenerative, vascular and related mechanisms like genetically programmed abnormal protein deposition may provide the underlying neurobiological links between these disorders.Conclusions
Modern neuroimaging approaches such as positron emission tomography (PET) based in vivo protein binding may help further elucidate common pathophysiological mechanisms and assist in the early identification of patients at risk for developing dementia over time. These developments have important mechanistic and public health significance in the elderly. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.