Few well-controlled studies have directly examined the relationship of age and depression with neuropsychological function while at the same time examining the possible influence of general medical illness. Toward this end, 44 elderly patients with unipolar major depression were compared with 30 nondepressed controls with a range of neuropsychological tests. The depressed patients evidenced a broad base of deficits relative to controls, as well as more rapid declines with increasing age on tests of complex psychomotor function, copying, and perceptual integration. Overall level of general medical illness had minimal influence on neuropsychological test performance in either group. In light of recent reports contradictory to the findings presented here, the importance of participant selection variables in neuropsychological studies of late-life depression is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology