Association between family history of affective disorder and the depressive syndrome of Alzheimer's disease

G. D. Pearlson, C. A. Ross, W. D. Lohr, B. W. Rovner, G. A. Chase, M. F. Folstein

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For each of 41 index patients with probable Alzheimer's disease and a first episode of major depression and 71 nondepressed Alzheimer's disease patients, two first-degree relatives were interviewed by a rater blind to presence or absence of depression in the proband. The depressed patients had significantly more first- and second-degree relatives with depression than did control subjects. The lifetime risk for major depression, adjusted for differences in age distribution, was significantly greater in first-degree relatives of index patients, suggesting that depression in Alzheimer's disease is genetically related to primary affective disorder. Alzheimer's disease may be useful for studying aspects of depressive pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-456
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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