A scoping review of functional near-infrared spectroscopy biomarkers in late-life depression: Depressive symptoms, cognitive functioning, and social functioning


Late-life depression is one of the most damaging mental illnesses, disrupting the normal lives of older people by causing chronic illness and cognitive impairment. Patients with late-life depression, accompanied by changes in appetite, insomnia, fatigue and guilt, are more likely to experience irritability, anxiety and somatic symptoms. It increases the risk of suicide and dementia and is a major challenge for the public health systems. The current clinical assessment, identification and effectiveness assessment of late-life depression are primarily based on history taking, mental status examination and scale scoring, which lack subjectivity and precision. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy is a rapidly developing optical imaging technology that objectively reflects the oxygenation of hemoglobin in different cerebral regions during different tasks and assesses the functional status of the cerebral cortex. This article presents a comprehensive review of the assessment of functional near-infrared spectroscopy technology in assessing depressive symptoms, social functioning, and cognitive functioning in patients with late-life depression. The use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy provides greater insight into the neurobiological mechanisms underlying depression and helps to assess these three aspects of functionality in depressed patients. In addition, the study discusses the limitations of previous research and explores potential advances in the field.

Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging