EEG findings in depressive pseudodementia and dementia with secondary depression.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 05/1989; 72(4):298-304. DOI: 10.1016/0013-4694(89)90065-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We report EEG findings in 33 elderly patients with mixed symptoms of depression and dementia, followed longitudinally to confirm diagnosis. Two groups of patients, dementia with depressive features (mixed-DEM, group I, n = 23) and patients with depressive pseudodementia (mixed-DEP, group II, n = 10), were defined. In addition, we also included, for comparison purposes, 35 patients with probable AD without depressive features (group III), 23 patients with major depression without cognitive impairment (group IV), and 61 healthy elderly controls (group V). We found significant group differences on waking EEGs between those mixed patients who did well after treatment for depression (depressive pseudodementia) compared to patients having dementia with secondary depression. The differences paralleled those between the 'pure' groups of demented and depressed patients. In patients with either depression or depressive pseudodementia, the EEG was usually normal or showed only mild abnormalities. In contrast, the majority of patients with either dementia or dementia with secondary depression had abnormal EEGs, with approximately one-third having moderate (or severe) abnormalities. Although the EEG was usually normal or only mildly abnormal in patients with pseudodementia or depression, these groups (II and IV) did show a significant slowing of the dominant posterior rhythm compared to controls. They also had a higher percentage of generalized abnormal EEGs than controls and this difference was significant between group IV (depression) and controls.

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