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Depression and dementia: differentiation and comorbidity

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The relationship between cognitive impairment (CI) and depression is complicated: h\the latter can be one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or may precede the onset of CI. Depression also has cognitive symptoms that alter the clinical presentation of the disease. Patients with depressive pseudodementia experience difficulties concentrating, confusion concurrent with impaired memory and thinking, whereas the patient’s answers to certain questions often resemble the vague pseudoamnestic pattern of the impairment. Mnestic disorders occur in at least 40% of patients with depression, and if the latter is diagnosed in the patient who already has dementia, the rate of cognitive decline may be faster. The mechanisms underlying the development of CI can also affect the development of depression. When assessing the risk of dementia in depression, it is necessary to take into account the time from the onset of a major depressive episode until moderate CI appears, to carry out a detailed analysis of neuropsychological testing for Alzheimer’s disease and to use the current lifetime markers for amyloidosis and neurodegeneration. Serotonergic antidepressants and non-pharmacological cognitive behavioral and psychotherapeutic procedures play the most important role in the treatment of depression and dementia.

About the Authors

V. Yu. Lobzin
Department of Nervous System Diseases, S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy, Ministry of Defense of Russia; Acad. S.N. Davidenkov Department of Neurology, I.I. Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University, Ministry of Health of Russia
Russian Federation

Vladimir Yuryevich Lobzin

6, Academician Lebedev St., Saint Petersburg 194044
41, Kirochnaya St., Saint Petersburg 191015 

A. Yu. Emelin
S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy, Ministry of Defense of Russia
Russian Federation

Department of Nervous System Diseases

6, Academician Lebedev St., Saint Petersburg 194044


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For citation:

Lobzin V.Yu., Emelin A.Yu. Depression and dementia: differentiation and comorbidity. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2020;12(4):100-106. (In Russ.)

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