The association between depressive symptoms and cognitive decline in community-dwelling elderly persons

Hannie C. Comijs, Cees Jonker, Aartjan T.F. Beekman, Dorly J.H. Deeg

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Objective: To investigate whether depressive symptoms predict specific types of cognitive decline in order to elucidate the association between late life depression and cognitive decline. Background: Mechanisms underlying the association between late life depression and cognitive decline are still unclear. Method: Six hundred and forty-one elderly persons of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) aged 70-85 were examined by means of two measurement occasions over a period of 3 years. Depressive symptoms were assessed by means of the CES-D. Various cognitive functions were examined using neuropsychological tests. Results: 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 of global mental deterioration. Conclusion: These findings suggest that depressive symptoms are associated with subcortical pathology, most probable white matter lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-367
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of geriatric psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Elderly

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