J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2011 Jun;15(1):38-44.

Characteristics of Cognitive Faculties in Elderly Depressive Patientscomplaining of Memory Decline and Patients with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. shryu@kku.ac.kr


Elderly depression is often misdiagnosed as a dementing illness such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Moreover, depressive symptoms often are presented in the early phase of AD. It is difficult to distinguish the difference between mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and depression. The purpose of this study is to explore neuropsychological characteristics of patients with amnestic MCI (aMCI) and depression. We hypothesized that there would be the difference in the cognitive function of those groups and this made clearer the nature of a depression and aMCI.
A community dwelling older people aged over 60 years were enrolled for the study. We compared 24 patients with aMCI, 23 with depression complaining subjective memory decline, and 26 normal elderly. Demographic and neuropsychological data were gathered and assessed by trained psychologist.
Patients with aMCI and depression had significant differences separately from normal controls in particular cognitive function. Patients with aMCI showed more cognitive declines in learning than normal older people. Patients with depression had less performance in attention and executive function than normal controls.
To understand the clinical difference and underlying pathophysiology of aMCI and depression, the precise criteria of aMCI gathering more homogeneous group of depression in severity and onset time will be needed.


Amnestic MCI; Depression; Characteristics of cognitive function
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