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Minerva Psichiatrica 2002 March;43(1):23-8

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Cognitive impairment: diagnostic aspects in a sample of elderly subjects

Rocca P., Calvarese P., Cocuzza E., Rivoira E., Taricco B., Bogetto F.


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Background. Cognitive impairment is commonly reported in elderly populations, but its clinical significance is largely undetermined. Cognitive dysfunction appears to be an integral part of geriatric depression besides constituting a feature of dementia. In this study, a sample of elderly subjects with cognitive and/or depressed symptoms has been evaluated using standardized procedures.
Methods. Eighty-two consecutive outpatients older than 65 years with cognitive and/or depressive symptoms, attending the Psychiatric Clinic, University of Turin, were enrolled in this study. All patients were evaluated with Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and Montgo-mery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Cognitive dysfunction was measured with the following neuropsychological tests: Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog), Trail Macking Test (TMT), Weschler Memory Scale (WMS), and Verbal Fluency (VF).
Results. Forty-nine per cent of the patients showed memory complains, 42% a cognitive impairment (MMSE <26) and 77% a depressive symptomatology. Twenty-three patients met diagnostic criteria for dementia, and 10 of them had a depressive disorder in comorbidity, 53 for depressive disorders and 6 for cognitive disorder not otherwise specified. Almost all depressed patients showed some degree of cognitive deterioration measured by TMT part A (77%) and B (100%), WMS (87%) and VF (68%).
Conclusions. According with the literature, these results suggest that mild cognitive impairment is a heterogeneous entity.

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