Depression – Effect of Cognitive Impairment, Structural Brain Changes, and Depression on Disability in Individuals with Late Life Depression


The Over 60 Program, part of the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF, is currently conducting research on depression and the aging process under the direction of R. Scott Mackin, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist and assistant professor at UCSF. We are enrolling volunteers who are age 65 and older, experiencing symptoms of depression, and having difficulty getting started or following through on daily activities the opportunity to participate in an MRI research study. 

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects depression might have on the brain by comparing the brains of older adults who are suffering from depression to those who are not. The study is currently being funded by the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) Grant Number K08 MH081065-01.

Study Design

Volunteers will be screened for depression and executive dysfunction. Those who qualify and are willing to answer questions about their health and mood, as well as complete tests of memory and concentration will be interviewed at baseline and again at 12 months. We will also ask someone who knows them well (i.e., a friend or family member) brief questions over the phone about any limitations that person is experiencing. As part of the study, some volunteers will also have the opportunity to have an MRI scan of their brain. 

End Date


Principal Investigators

Scott Mackin, PhD

Participant Requirements

Age 65 or older

Feel depressed, down, lonely, or stressed

Have difficulty getting started, staying organized, or feeling apathetic

Speak English


Participants will receive a stipend of up to $140 by completing tests of memory and concentration, as well as answering questions about their health and mood.

Contact Info

Kathleen Flach - Contact Information

Research Programs

Depression Center at Langley Porter



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