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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 2075-9479


NETTO, Tania M.  y  LANDEIRA-FERNANDEZ, J.. Neuropsychological preliminary profile of elderly adults with memory complaints and suggestive symptoms of depression. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2012, vol.4, n.4, pp. 19-27. ISSN 2075-9479.

Cognitive impairment and depression often occurs in elderly adults. Sometimes these impairments may simulate mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or incipient dementia, hindering a differential diagnosis. Identifying the neuropsychological profile of these individuals may aid the diagnostic differentiation between these conditions, as well as their prognosis and treatment design. The present study aimed to investigate a preliminary neurocognitive profile of elderly adults with suggestive symptoms of depression (SSD) and mnemonic complaints. The sample was comprised of 10 elderly adults, two males and eight females, with an average of 74.5 years of age and 13.9 years of education. The SSD were investigated by the Geriatric Depression Scale. The mnemonic complaints and cognitive functions were evaluated by a flexible neuropsychological battery. Statistical analysis was performed according to the frequency of deficits calculated by the Z scores. From the 10 elderly individual tested, 60% showed mild SSD, while 40% presented severe SSD. Regarding memory, 80% of this sample presented decline in episodic, 70% in prospective and 60% in working memory, while no changes were identified in visual episodic and semantic memory. Besides these cognitive deficits, others were also observed : 70% in selective attention, 60% in executive functions (inhibition, initiation, cognitive flexibility and problem solving), and 40% in narrative discourse processing. These results suggested a possible association or comorbidity between SSD and decline of the assessed cognitive components. There is a need for further studies to investigate the neuropsychological profile of older adults with memory complaints and SSD in larger samples and comparison groups with major depression and late onset depression.

Palabras clave : Aging; Memory; Depression; Cognition; Neuropsychological tests.

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