Depressive symptoms and cognitive decline in community-dwelling elderly persons

Hannie C. Comijs, A. T.F. Beekman, C. Jonker, D. J.H. Deeg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The objective of the study was to investigate whether depressive symptoms predict specific types of cognitive decline in order to elucidate the association between late life depression and cognitive decline. 641 elderly persons of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam aged 70-85 were examined by means of two measurement occasions over a period of three years. Depressive symptoms were assessed by means of the CES-D, and various cognitive functions were examined using neuropsychological tests. The results show that depressive symptoms were associated with decline in speed of information processing over a 3-year period, whereas there was no association between depression and increasing memory impairment or global mental deterioration. These findings suggest that depressive symptoms are associated with subcortical pathology, most probable white matter lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
JournalResearch and Practice in Alzheimer's Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Older persons

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