The neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (N:L) is an emergent transdiagnostic biomarker shown to predict peripheral inflammation as well as neuropsychiatric impairment. The afferent signaling of inflammation to the central nervous system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of sickness behavior and depression. Here, the N:L was compared to structural and functional limbic alterations found concomitant with depression within a geriatric cohort. Venous blood was collected for a complete blood count, and magnetic resonance imaging as well as phenotypic data were collected from the 66 community-dwelling older adults (aged 65–86 years). The N:L was regressed on gray matter volume and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the subgenual anterior cingulate (sgACC). Thresholded parameter estimates were extracted from structural and functional brain scans and bivariate associations tested with scores on the geriatric depression scale. Greater N:L predicted lower volume of hypothalamus and rsFC of sgACC with ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Both parameters were correlated (p < 0.05) with greater symptomology in those reporting moderate to severe levels of depression. These findings support the N:L as a transdiagnostic biomarker of limbic alteration underpinning mood disturbance in non-treated older adults.
- Geriatric depression
- Medial frontal cortex
- Perigenual anterior cingulate
- Resting state functional connectivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Clinical Neurology