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Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2014 Apr;17(2):147-54. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.132613.

Pseudo-dementia: A neuropsychological review.

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Department of Emergency, Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital, Yantai, Shandong Province, China.
Operating Room, Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital, Yantai, Shandong Province, China.
Department of Cognitive Science and Education, University of Trento, Rovereto, Trentino, Italy.
Department of Physiology, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Mathikere, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Institute of Psychiatry, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.


Ever since Kiloh (1961)[2] coined the term pseudo-dementia, it has been used a little loosely for describing the cognitive deficits in depression, especially, which is found in old age. However, several diagnostic dilemmas persist regarding the nosological status of this condition. Teasing out these individual diagnostic problems is important not only for administering appropriate therapy, but also for preventing them from the unnecessary diagnostic assessments towards the other diagnoses. Thus, it is important to have a detailed knowledge of the cognitive or neuropsychological deficits in this condition. In this review, we start by addressing the important issue of diagnostic confusion between dementia and pseudo-dementia. Subsequently, we proceed by reviewing the present scientific literature on the cognitive deficits found in this clinical condition. For the sake of convenience, we will divide the cognitive deficits into: Memory deficitsExecutive function deficits andDeficits in speech and language domains. Finally, we will look at the progression of this condition to see the components of this condition, which can be actually called "Pseudo".


Cognition; executive functions; memory; pseudodementia

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