Article

Longitudinal stability of subsyndromal symptoms of depression in individuals with mild cognitive impairment: relationship to conversion to dementia after 3 years

Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.09). 06/2011; 27(4):355-63. DOI: 10.1002/gps.2713
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To evaluate the degree to which longitudinal stability of subsyndromal symptoms of depression (SSD) is associated with conversion to dementia in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Data from 405 MCI participants from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study were analyzed. Participants were evaluated at baseline and 12-month intervals over 3 years. Participants were designated as MCI converters if dementia was diagnosed within 3 years or as cognitively stable MCI if dementia was not diagnosed during this interval. SSD were evaluated utilizing the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Endorsement of specific SSD at baseline and the stability of SSD over 36 months were compared between the two MCI groups.
Baseline symptom endorsement and stability of total GDS scores did not differentiate MCI groups. Worsening of four individual items from the GDS over time (memory problems, feelings of helplessness, loss of interest, and preference for staying at home) differentiated MCI converters from cognitively stable MCI (p < 0.05 for all). However, only increased endorsement of memory symptoms over time was associated with progression to dementia after controlling for other clinical variables (p = 0.05).
SSD in MCI participants largely consist of cognitive symptoms and activity limitations, and the stability of SSD over time differentiated the MCI groups better than baseline endorsement of symptoms. However, the only significant predictor of conversion to dementia was increased endorsement of memory problems, which likely represents insight into cognitive problems more than depressive symptomatology in MCI individuals.

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