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Depressed Elders Exhibit Greater Cognitive Decline

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry; ePub 2017 Mar 27; Riddle, et al

Consistent with past studies, depressed elders exhibit greater cognitive decline than nondepressed subjects, particularly individuals with early depression onset, according to a recent study. 273 depressed and 164 never-depressed community dwelling elders aged ≥60 years were followed on average for >5 years. Participants completed annual neuropsychological testing and neuropsychological measures were converted to z-scores derived from the baseline performance of all participants. Researchers found:

  • Depressed participants exhibited poorer performance at baseline and greater subsequent decline in all domains.
  • Early-onset depressed individuals exhibited a greater decline in all domains than the late-onset or nondepressed groups.
  • For remission, remitters and nonremitters at both 3- and 12-months exhibited greater decline in episodic memory and attention-working memory than nondepressed subjects.
  • 3-month remitters also exhibited a greater decline in verbal fluency and executive function, while 12-month nonremitters exhibited greater decline in executive function than other groups.

Citation:

Riddle M, Potter GG, McQuoid DR, Steffens DC, Beyer JL, Taylor WD. Longitudinal cognitive outcomes of clinical phenotypes of late-life depression. [Published online ahead of print March 27, 2017]. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2017.03.016.