Objective: Depression is highly prevalent amongst elderly patients. Individuals presenting for dementia screening are at high risk for comorbid depression. The impact of depression and pattern of impact on memory performance in the elderly is debatable (Kang et al., 2014). The current study hypothesized that depression would impact learning and free recall performances in older adults presenting for dementia evaluation. Method: Data was retrospectively collected from 283 consecutive files of patients seen at a university based Memory Center for neuropsychological evaluation. Means, standard deviations, and correlations were conducted for demographics and the following measures: Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Geriatric Depressive Scale (GDS), and Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT). Results: Mean age was 78.8 years (SD = 6.7), mean education was 13.7 years (SD = 3.5), mean premorbid intellect was average [SS = 99.3 (SD = 16.7)], and mean MMSE was 25.29 (SD = 3.95). Twenty-three percent of the sample endorsed clinically significant depressogenic symptoms and 52% demonstrated impaired global cognition (MMSE < 27). Correlation analyses revealed significant negative relationships between depression and immediate learning [HVLT-trials 1–3 (p < .05)] and delayed free recall [HVLT-delay (p < .05)]. No significant relationships were found between GDS scores and HVLT-recognition (p > .05). Conclusion: Depression is highly prevalent with geriatric patients presenting for memory assessment. Depression was found to impact free recall performance on memory testing, yet did not impact performance on less effortful recognition paradigms. These results are consistent with recent data (Paula et al., 2013) examining the RAVLT. These findings suggest that aggressive treatment of depression in individuals presenting with memory concerns is warranted, as this may improve memory task performance.
The Relationship between Depression and Memory in Dementia Patients
Arch Clin Neuropsychol (2015) 30 (6): 532.
25 August 2015
K Schmieder, S DeDios-Stern, M Lacy; B-27
The Relationship between Depression and Memory in Dementia Patients. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 532. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.123
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