Cognitive performance of community-dwelling oldest-old individuals with major depression: The Pietà study

Filipi Leles Da Costa Dias, Antônio Lúcio Teixeira, Henrique Cerqueira Guimarães, Maira Tonidandel Barbosa, Elisa De Paula França Resende, Rogério Gomes Beato, Karoline Carvalho Carmona, Paulo Caramelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Individuals with late-life depression (LLD) may present cognitive symptoms. We sought to determine whether a brief cognitive battery (BCB) could identify cognitive and functional deficits in oldest-old individuals with LLD and a low level of education. Methods: We evaluated 639 community-dwelling individuals aged 75+ years in Caeté (MG), Brazil. We used the MINI and GDS-15 to diagnose major depression and evaluate its severity, respectively. The cognitive evaluation comprised the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), BCB, clock-drawing test, category fluency test (animals) and Pfeffer's Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ). Results: Fifty-four (11.6%) of the included individuals were diagnosed with LLD; on average, these participants were aged 81.0 ± 4.8 years and had 3.9 ± 3.4 years of schooling, and 77.8% of the subjects with LLD were female. Depressed individuals scored lower than subjects without dementia/depression on the MMSE overall (p < 0.001) and on several of the MMSE subscales, namely, time (p < 0.001) and spatial orientation (p = 0.021), attention/calculation (p = 0.019), and language (p = 0.004). Individuals with LLD performed worse on the incidental and (p = 0.011) immediate memory (p = 0.046) and learning tasks (p = 0.039) of the BCB. Individuals with LLD also performed worse on the category fluency test (p = 0.006), clock-drawing test (p = 0.011) and FAQ (p < 0.001). Depression severity was negatively correlated with incidental memory (ρ = -0.412; p = 0.003) and positively correlated with FAQ score (ρ = 0.308; p = 0.035). In the multiple regression analysis, only temporal orientation and FAQ score remained independently associated with LLD. Conclusion: Individuals with depression and a low level of education presented several cognitive and functional deficits. Depression severity was negatively correlated with incidental memory and functionality. Our findings serve as a description of the presence of cognitive dysfunction in individuals with LLD and suggest that these deficits may be identified based on the results of a BCB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1513
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • cognition
  • geriatric depression
  • late-life depression
  • oldest-old

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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