Distinguishing Between Depression and Dementia in Older Persons: Neuropsychological and Neuropathological Correlates

  title={Distinguishing Between Depression and Dementia in Older Persons: Neuropsychological and Neuropathological Correlates},
  author={Sara L. Wright and Carol Persad},
  journal={Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology},
  pages={189 - 198}
  • S. Wright, C. Persad
  • Published 1 December 2007
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Dementia and depression are frequently comorbid among older adult patients. Depression is related to cognitive decrement and can even represent the first signs of a neurodegenerative process. It can be difficult to distinguish depressed patients exhibiting the first signs of dementia from those whose cognition will improve with treatment. In this article, studies from the neuropsychological literature are reviewed that aid in accurate diagnosis and prognosis. Furthermore, the relationship… 
Clinical features, neuropsychological profi le and neuroimaging helpful in differential diagnosis of depression and dementia will be reviewed and the “vascular depression” hypothesis is introduced.
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Depression is one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders in elderly people and causes sustained impairment in physical, social and psychological functioning. MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases
Depression vs. Dementia: A comparative analysis of neuropsychological functions
Differences between neuropsychological profiles of depression and dementia are established and impairment pattern in the group of depressive patients does not indicate intellectual degradation of the dementia type.
Depression and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults
This manuscript reviews the most recent research into the cognitive deficits associated with LLD and risk of conversion to dementia in the context of LLD, and discusses potential moderators and mediators of cognitive deficits in LLD.
Psychological distress and risk for dementia
Results presented in this review show that psychological distress and depressive, anxious, and apathetic symptoms can be present in MCI and may predict progression to dementia.
Depression associated with dementia
Treating depression is a key clinical priority to improve the quality of life both of people with dementia as well as their carergivers, and nonpharmacological approaches and watchful waiting should be attempted first in patients who present with mild to moderate depression.
Neuropsychological predictors of dementia in late-life major depressive disorder.
Depressive Symptom Clusters and Neuropsychological Performance in Mild Alzheimer's and Cognitively Normal Elderly
Findings suggest the need to examine disease status and gender when considering the impact of depressive symptoms on cognition as well as neuropsychological test performance in an elderly cohort of cognitively normal controls and mild Alzheimer's disease.


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It is concluded that patients with mild cognitive impairment and depression are at more than twice the risk of developing dementia of Alzheimer type as those without depression.
Cognitive and Demographic Determinants of Dementia in Depressed Patients with Subjective Memory Complaints
Impairment of the executive component of working memory as well as limited access to visual knowledge may predict cognitive deterioration in depressed patients with subjective memory complaints.
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Depressed mood moderately increased the risk of developing dementia, primarily Alzheimer's disease.
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Predictive value computations suggested that the OME is more accurate in confirming true dementia than in detecting dementia syndromes associated with functional disorders.
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The results suggest that depression in AD is not severe and is unrelated to patient self-awareness of illness, and it is hypothesized that the cholinergic deficit of AD may ameliorate depressive symptoms.
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The identification of early neuropsychological markers in elderly depressed patients highlights the need to evaluate this population broadly as soon as possible in the depression/dementia process in order to improve the prognosis.
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