In our Anatomy class last fall we were required to do a paper and I chose one on depression and altered brain function due to ischemia. Here's some of the references, the best one being #5. Basically their study supported the hypothesis that vascular disease in the elderly predisposes, precipitates, and perpetuates depression. It also suggests that depression in the elderly may be viewed as a potentially treatable consequence of cerebrovascular disease.
1 Koenig, HG., George, LK., Peterson, BL. and Pieper CF., Depression in medically ill hospitalized older adults: prevalence, characteristics, and course of symptoms according to six diagnostic schemes
Am J Psychiatry 1997: 154: 1376-1383
2 Conwell, Y. Suicide in Elderly Patients, in Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression in Late Life, Edited by Schneider, LS., Reynolds, CF., Lebowitz, BD.; Washington D.C., American Psychiatric Press, 1996
3 Rabbins, PV., Pearlson, GD., Aylward, E., Kumar, AJ., and Dowell, K. Cortical magnetic resonance imaging changes in elderly inpatients with major depression Am J Psychiatry 1991: 148:617-620
4 Nebes, RD., Reynolds, CF. 3rd, Boada, F., Meltzer, CC., Fukui, MB., Saxton, J., Halligan, EM., and DeKosky, ST. Longitudinal increase in the volume of white matter hyperintensities in late-onset depression. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2002 Jun;17(6):526-30
5 Thomas, AJ., O'Brian, JT., Davis, S., Ballard, C., Barber, R., Kalaria, RN., and Perry, RH., Ischemic Basis for Deep White Matter Hyperintensities in Major Depression: A Neuropathological Study Arch Gen Psychiatry 2002;59:785-792
6 Kalayam, B., Alexopoulos, GS. Prefrontal dysfunction and treatment response in geriatric depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999;56:713-718