J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2006 Jun;10(1):20-27.

Cognitive Dysfunction in the Geriatric Depression Living in the Institution

  • 1Yongin Psychiatric Research Institute, Yongin, Korea.
  • 2Yongin Mental Hospital, Yongin, Korea. jslee@simri.pe.kr
  • 3Department of Psychology, Kyunggi Provincial Hospital for the Elderly, Yongin, Korea.


There is a wide spectrum of cognitive dysfunction in geriatric depression due to heterogeneity. The Authors tried to investigate cognitive dysfunction in the elderly with depression and the association between geriatric depression and demographic variables such as sex, age, and education.
Total 101 non-demented participants living in the asylum for the aged had completed frontal lobe function test (executive function and conceptualization) and CERAD-K (the Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease) to evaluate neuropsychological function. Symptoms of depression were evaluated by SGDS-K (Short Geriatric Depression Scale of Korean version). We divided the elderly into two groups (depressed, non-depressed group) to evaluate the differences in cognitive function.
30 (29.7%) of the subjects suffered depression and 50 (49.5%) had cognitive decline. Geriatric depression is not associated with age, sex, and education. Depressed older adults had lower executive function score in total group and cognitive decline group than non-depressed. Within cognitive decline group, subject with geriatric depression had lower scores in word fluency and word delayed recall than non-depressed. There was significant correlation between SGDS-K score and executive function.
Subjects with geriatric depression had significant executive dysfunction. Executive dysfunction in depressed older adults may provide the basis for further investigation of mechanisms of geriatric depression. Timely identification of executive dysfunction fundamental to daily activities of depressed older adults may lead to coping strategies that will improve the prognosis of geriatric depression.


Geriatric depression; Cognitive function; Executive function; Depression-executive dysfunction syndrome
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