Computerized cognitive testing battery identifies mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia even in the presence of depressive symptoms

Glen M Doniger, Tzvi Dwolatzky, David M Zucker, Howard Chertkow, Howard Crystal, Avraham Schweiger, Ely S Simon
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias 2006, 21 (1): 28-36
Cognitive and depressive symptoms co-occur, complicating detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia. In this study, discriminant validity of a novel computerized cognitive battery for MCI detection was evaluated after covariation for depressive symptom severity. In addition to the computerized battery, participants at two sites received the 30-item self-administered Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS; n=72); those at two other centers received the observer-administered Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD; n=88). In both cohorts, a Global Cognitive Score and memory, executive function, visual spatial, and verbal index scores discriminated among cognitively healthy, MCI, and mild dementia groups after covariation for GDS or CSDD, respectively (p < 0.05). Thus, the computerized battery for detection of mild impairment is robust to comorbid depressive symptoms, supporting its clinical utility in identifying neurodegenerative disease even in elderly with depression.

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