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Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2009 Jul;77(7):399-406. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1109454. Epub 2009 Jun 16.

[Depressive disorders in dementia and mild cognitive impairments: is comorbidity a cause or a risk factor?].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.


Both depression and dementia occur by themselves or together in elderly subjects aged 65 and above. The aim of this review is to discuss several hypotheses which try to explain the frequent co-occurrence exceeding chance alone, based on a systematic literature search. A series of studies revealed potential biological similarities between both disorders which, however, were not found in all investigations. Lifetime history of depression can be considered as a distant risk factor for dementias. Depression occurs most frequently within one year before and after the onset of dementia, in which the association between both disorders is probably strongest. In a subgroup of subjects with more "cognitive reserve", depression was found to be a consequence of patient's realisation of beginning cognitive deficits. Several studies indicate that depression in Alzheimer and other dementia forms can be considered as a separate disease entity, as the clinical syndrome differs from depression in earlier periods of life. Studies on the therapy of depression in dementia have aroused increasing interest in recent years. Herewith, certain guidelines in the treatment of older patients with antidepressants must be followed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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