ABSTRACT: Whether or not cognitive impairment and brain structure changes are trait characteristics of late-life depression is still disputed. Previous studies led to conflicting data possibly because of the difference in the age of depression onset. In fact, several lines of evidence suggest that late-onset depression (LOD) is more frequently associated with neuropsychological deficits and brain pathology than early-onset depression (EOD). To date, no study explored concomitantly the cognitive profile and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) patterns in euthymic EOD and LOD patients.
Using a cross-sectional design, 41 remitted outpatients (30 with EOD and 11 with LOD) were compared to 30 healthy controls. Neuropsychological evaluation concerned working memory, episodic memory, processing speed, naming capacity and executive functions. Volumetric estimates of the amygdala, hippocampus, entorhinal and anterior cingulate cortex were obtained using both voxel-based and region of interest morphometric methods. White matter hyperintensities were assessed semiquantitatively.
Both cognitive performance and brain volumes were preserved in euthymic EOD patients whereas LOD patients showed a significant reduction of episodic memory capacity and a higher rate of periventricular hyperintensities compared to both controls and EOD patients.
Our results support the dissociation between EOD thought to be mainly related to psychosocial factors and LOD that is characterized by increasing vascular burden and episodic memory decline.
Journal of the neurological sciences 12/2010; 299(1-2):19-23. · 2.32 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Previous studies reported that the severity of cognitive deficits in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder (BD) increases with the duration of illness and postulated that progressive neuronal loss or shrinkage and white matter changes may be at the origin of this phenomenon. To explore this issue, the authors performed a case-control study including detailed neuropsychological and magnetic resonance imaging analyses in 17 euthymic elderly patients with BD and 17 healthy individuals.
Neuropsychological evaluation concerned working memory, episodic memory, processing speed, and executive functions. Volumetric estimates of the amygdala, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex were obtained using both voxel-based and region of interest morphometric methods. Periventricular and deep white matter were assessed semiquantitatively. Differences in cognitive performances and structural data between BD and comparison groups were analyzed using paired t-test or analysis of variance. Wilcoxon test was used in the absence of normal distribution.
Compared with healthy individuals, patients with BD obtained significantly lower performances in processing speed, working memory, and episodic memory but not in executive functions. Morphometric analyses did not show significant volumetric or white matter differences between the two groups.
Our results revealed impairment in verbal memory, working memory, and processing speed in euthymic older adults with BD. These cognitive deficits are comparable both in terms of affected functions and size effects to those previously reported in younger cohorts with BD. Both this observation and the absence of structural brain abnormalities in our cohort do not support a progressively evolving neurotoxic effect in BD.
The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 12/2009; 17(12):1012-21. · 3.35 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To assess the reliability, validity, and feasibility of a French version of the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Elderly People (HoNOS65+).
Twenty mental health professionals completed the scale for 126 elderly patients. We assessed interrater reliability in inpatient and outpatient settings, together with construct and discriminant validity, as well as concurrent validity compared with several widely used clinical instruments.
Excellent agreement among raters was observed in the outpatient subgroup (kappa range 0.77 to 1.00), whereas interrater reliability was modest in the inpatient subgroup (kappa values < 0.55). In cases where the patient-caregiver relationship lasted more than 1 month, the reliability of the scale improved. Construct validity analysis revealed no subscale structure. All items except "self-injury" displayed high concurrent validity (significant Spearman correlations with 8 other questionnaires). In terms of discriminant validity, the "cognitive impairment" (area under the curve [AUC] 0.91) and "depressive symptoms" (AUC 0.79) items showed high sensitivity and specificity values.
Our results indicate that the French version of HoNOS65+ is a promising clinical assessment tool to evaluate mental disorders in the elderly in outpatient settings. We support its use in routine clinical practice, with the condition that a relatively long and individualized patient-caregiver relationship has been established.
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie 01/2007; 52(1):37-45. · 2.42 Impact Factor