The neuropsychology of depression in the elderly: a comparative study of normal aging and Alzheimer's disease

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1991 Spring;3(2):163-8. doi: 10.1176/jnp.3.2.163.


The neuropsychological testing of 23 elderly depressed patients was compared to that of 23 healthy controls and 20 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Depressed subjects were deficient relative to controls on most tasks, including naming and cued memory. There was a greater negative influence of age on the performance of depressed subjects (relative to controls) on some tasks. Despite their significant deficits, depressed patients were clearly distinguishable from AD patients. It is suggested that the combined effects of age and depression produce a pattern of deficits that is distinct from that of younger depressives, but less severe than that of Alzheimer's patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Anomia / diagnosis
  • Anomia / physiopathology
  • Anomia / psychology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Verbal Learning / physiology