Vol. 6 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2012
Original Article Páginas: 85 a 90

Screening for cognitive impairment in late onset depression in a Brazilian sample using the BBRC-Edu

Authors Tânia Maria da Silva Novaretti1; Marcia Radanovic2; Ricardo Nitrini3


keywords: Alzheimer's disease, CERAD, BBRC-Edu, depression, screening test, cognition, elderly.

Depression and dementia are the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders in the elderly population. Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia in most countries, being responsible for more than half of all dementia cases. Late-onset depression is a frequent cause of cognitive decline in the elderly. Differentiating between cognitive impairment secondary to depression and incipient dementia poses a challenge in the clinical setting.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance of elderly depressed patients using the BBRC-Edu.
METHODS: We studied 25 patients with late onset depression (mean age: 73.6 y (6.6); schooling: 9.1 y (5.7)) and 30 patients with mild AD (mean age 76.6 y (5.4); schooling: 7.5 y (7.1)), who were compared to a control group of 30 healthy elderly (mean age 73.8 y (5.8); schooling: 9.1 y (5.4)) using the CERAD and BBRC-Edu batteries.
RESULTS: For the CERAD battery, depressed patients performed better than AD patients on all tasks (p<0.0001) except for Constructional Praxis (p>0.05), and performed poorer than controls on verbal fluency (animals) and Word List Recall tasks (p<0.0001). For the BBRC-Edu, depressed patients performed better than AD patients on all tasks (p<0.0001) except for Digit Span (direct order) (p=0.076) and Incidental Memory (p>0.05), and performed worse than controls on Learning (second presentation) and verbal fluency (fruits) tasks (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSION: Overall performance on the BBRC-Edu allowed differentiation of controls and depressed patients from AD patients.


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