Contribution of Depression to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Older Adults

  title={Contribution of Depression to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Older Adults},
  author={Guy G. Potter and David C. Steffens},
  journal={The Neurologist},
Background:The objective of this review is to provide information for clinicians regarding current research and opinions on the association of depression to conditions of cognitive impairment and dementia. We also intend to integrate this current research and thinking into strategies for the assessment and treatment of depression in the context of cognitive impairment. Review Summary:Depression is highly prevalent in mild cognitive impairment and most dementias. It may be a risk factor for the… 

Geriatric depression and cognitive impairment

Current research on depression and cognition can inform clinical decisions that reduce the occurrence of adverse outcomes, and clinicians are encouraged to develop proactive approaches for treatment, which may include combinations of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions.


With the greater ability to improve the lives of patients with depression, it is important for neurologists to recognize depression and work with psychiatric colleagues to help patients access the newest and best treatments.

Vascular burden and cognitive functioning in depressed older adults.

The severity of vascular burden was significantly correlated with depression severity and impaired performance on measures of cognitive control, but not memory or verbal fluency, and the severity of comorbid apathy nor medical illness burden was related to cognitive impairment.

Differentiation of the pattern of cognitive impairment between depressed and non-depressed patients with dementia living in long-term care facilities

Findings add to those of previous studies showing that D+ and D− patients differ not only regarding the presence or absence of depressive symptoms, but also regarding cognitive manifestations, and reinforces the need to detect and treat accurately depression in dementia.

Differential diagnosis of depression and Alzheimer’s disease with the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACE-R)

ACE-R has diagnostic accuracy in detecting people with AD and can be used in differential diagnostics of late-life onset depression (severe episode) and AD.

[Depression and cognitive decline in elderly: causes and consequences].

  • O. LevinE. Vasenina
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova
  • 2019
The authors discuss the relationship between depression and cognitive impairment in the aspect of mechanisms of their development, variants of comorbidity and recommendations on differentiated

Cognitive performance in old-age depression

Multiple factors were found to modulate cognitive performance in dementia-free unipolar old-age depression, and consistent with the notion that depression is a heterogeneous disorder, this may explain why patterns of cognitive deficits in depression vary between studies.

Depression history, depressive symptoms, and incident dementia: the 3C Study.

In elderly individuals, high level of depressive symptoms is predictive of vascular dementia within a few years, and a close temporal association suggests that depression is less a risk factor for than a prodromal symptom ofascular dementia.

Diagnosis and treatment of depression in Alzheimer's disease: impact on mood and cognition.

Research suggests that depression in AD (dAD) may differ from major depression phenomenologically and etiologically, and treatment options for dAD include behavioral modifications, pharmacotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy.



Disability in geriatric depression.

Impairment in instrumental activities of daily living appears to be a relatively independent dimension of health status that is related to depressive symptoms, particularly anxiety and depressive ideation as well as retardation and weight loss.

Perspectives on depression, mild cognitive impairment, and cognitive decline.

One of the most important recommendations to emerge from the meeting discussions is for increased collaboration among clinical and epidemiological investigators whose work focuses on depression with those working primarily in the area of memory disorders.

Depressive symptoms and cognitive decline in late life: a prospective epidemiological study.

Depressive symptoms are cross-sectionally associated with cognitive impairment but not subsequent cognitive decline, and substantial cognitive decline over time cannot be explained by depression and most likely reflects incipient dementia.

Persistent mild cognitive impairment in geriatric depression

These results confirm previous observations that MCI is highly prevalent among older depressed adults and that cognitive impairment occurring during acute depression may persist after depression remits, and suggest that assessments of both neuropsychological and functional status are important prognostic factors in the evaluation of geriatric depression.

The temporal relationship between depressive symptoms and dementia: a community-based prospective study.

Depressive symptoms appeared to be early manifestations, rather than predictors, of Alzheimer disease in this community sample.

Clinical presentation of the "depression-executive dysfunction syndrome" of late life.

Depressive symptomatology, and especially psychomotor retardation and loss of interest in activities, contributed to disability in DED patients, whereas paranoia was associated with disability independently of executive dysfunction.

Comorbidity of mild cognitive disorder and depression – a neuropsychological analysis

  • F. ReischiesP. Neu
  • Psychology
    European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
  • 2000
The data of the neuropsychological deficits of depressed patients, which are stable in the time course of the affective disorder, may indicate that these patients may suffer from comorbidity of both depression and mild cognitive disorder.

A comparison of psychiatric symptoms in vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Patients with vascular dementia have more severe behavioral retardation, depression, and anxiety than those with Alzheimer's disease when the groups have similar levels of cognitive impairment, probably reflects the contrasting brain regions typically involved in the two disorders.

Prevalence and correlates of dysthymia and major depression among patients with Alzheimer's disease.

A high prevalence of dysthymia and major depression among patients with probable Alzheimer's disease is demonstrated, demonstrating that major depression may be related to biological factors.

Prevalence of cognitive impairment

Cognitive impairment short of dementia affects nearly one in four community-dwelling elders and is a major risk factor for later development of dementia.