Published online Jun 28, 2014. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i6.223
Revised: April 13, 2014
Accepted: May 16, 2014
Published online: June 28, 2014
Core tip: Understanding neural correlates underlying psychiatric morbidity over time is critical but, to date, structural magnetic resonance imaging studies identified only not stable risk predictors of unfavourable outcome in psychiatric populations. The presence of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) has been commonly associated with a poor outcome in individuals with major affective disorders. Based on our studies, subjects with WMHs may be considered at higher suicidal risk than those without and the severity of WMHs as assessed by the Fazekas modified scale may serve as a trait marker of disease. WMHs may represent an interesting neurobiological marker between the underlying vulnerability and clinical presentation of major affective disorders.