Brain frontal cortical activation is related to cardiac vagal activity in the depressive elderly: A pilot study

      Background: As elderly population increases, mood disorders have more often been seen, with major depressive disorder being one of the most prevalent diseases. Depression is associated with neuroendocrine and autonomic dysfunction, expressed by the increase in sympathetic activity and/or reduction in parasympathetic activity. Activation in specific areas of the cerebral cortex may be associated with both sympathetic activation and symptoms of depression. The cardiac vagal control is reduced in older depressed and it could be considered a risk factor for mortality related to cardiovascular diseases. However, the relationship between electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha asymmetry and vagal modulation in elderly depressed subjects is unknown.
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