Computerized cognitive testing battery identifies mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia even in the presence of depressive symptoms

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2006 Jan-Feb;21(1):28-36. doi: 10.1177/153331750602100105.


Cognitive and depressive symptoms co-occur, complicating detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia. In this study, discriminant validity of a novel computerized cognitive battery for MCI detection was evaluated after covariation for depressive symptom severity. In addition to the computerized battery, participants at two sites received the 30-item self-administered Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS; n=72); those at two other centers received the observer-administered Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD; n=88). In both cohorts, a Global Cognitive Score and memory, executive function, visual spatial, and verbal index scores discriminated among cognitively healthy, MCI, and mild dementia groups after covariation for GDS or CSDD, respectively (p < 0.05). Thus, the computerized battery for detection of mild impairment is robust to comorbid depressive symptoms, supporting its clinical utility in identifying neurodegenerative disease even in elderly with depression.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Computers
  • Dementia / complications
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Depression / complications*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index