, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 280-288
Date: 24 May 2012

Depression and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults

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Abstract

Late life depression (LLD) is a heterogeneous illness with high rates of treatment resistance. Cognitive impairment is common in the context of LLD, and LLD may be a prodromal symptom and/or potentially a risk factor for dementia. This manuscript reviews the most recent research into the cognitive deficits associated with LLD and risk of conversion to dementia in the context of LLD. We discuss potential moderators and mediators of cognitive deficits in LLD, including demographic and clinical variables, in addition to brain structure and function. Potential interventions for cognitive symptoms of LLD are reviewed. We conclude with a discussion of the broader implications of what is now known about LLD, and how this might be applied toward improved prognosis and models for effective treatment.