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Predictors of Alzheimer Dementia in OAs With Depression

June 08, 2018

Factors including depression, duration, and age are independently associated with progression to Alzheimer dementia in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and depression, according to the authors of a new study.

For their study, the researchers assessed data obtained from the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center on 1965 participants with clinically defined depression and MCI at baseline.

Participants were followed until they developed Alzheimer dementia or were lost to follow-up. In this cohort, median follow-up lasted 27 months.

Ultimately, 780 (39.7%) participants developed Alzheimer dementia over the course of follow-up.

In addition, 656 (41.7%) participants with MCI and active depression within the previous 2 years subsequently developed Alzheimer dementia, compared with 120 (31.6%) participants whose history of depression was more remote.

After performing survival analyses, the researchers found that the following factors were independently associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer dementia:

  • Age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.04)
  • Mini Mental State Examination score at baseline (HR 0.85)
  • Amnestic subtype of MCI (HR 1.66)
  • Presence of the apolipoprotein E e4 allele (HR 1.99)
  • Presence of active depression within the previous 2 years (HR 1.44)

“Older adults with depression and MCI demonstrated a high rate of progression to [Alzheimer dementia] over a relatively short duration of follow up,” the researchers concluded. “Individuals with a combination of MCI and recently active depression are a particularly high-risk subgroup” (Published online May 9, 2018 [in press]. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2018.05.00).

—Christina Vogt

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