Depressive disorders in the elderly and dementia: An update

Natália S. Dias, Izabela G. Barbosa, Weihong Kuang, Antonio L. Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The relationship between depressive disorders in the elderly and dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is highly complex. While the nature of this relationship is still a matter of debate, differential diagnosis and treatment remain a great clinical challenge. We review recent findings on the conundrum of depressive disorders in the elderly and AD. There is a biological continuum between depressive disorders in the elderly – or at least a subgroup of them – and AD. While elderly subjects with depression and patients with AD exhibit higher circulating levels of pro-inflammatory molecules and lower BDNF than matched controls, CSF levels of Aβ42 can discriminate AD from depressive disorders in the elderly. The role of antidepressant treatment as a strategy to minimize the risk of AD remains to be established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalDementia e Neuropsychologia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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