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Investigating the relationship between age of onset of depressive disorder and cognitive function

Eraydin, IE; Mueller, C; Corbett, A; Ballard, C; Brooker, H; Wesnes, K; Aarsland, D; (2019) Investigating the relationship between age of onset of depressive disorder and cognitive function. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry , 34 (1) pp. 38-46. 10.1002/gps.4979. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: Depressive disorder is commonly associated with impaired cognitive function; however, it is unclear whether the age of onset of the first episode of depression, current depression severity or historical severity of depressive episodes are associated with cognitive performance. Methods: This study examined baseline cross-sectional data from the ongoing online PROTECT study. 7344 participants, 50 years or older, with a history of depression and no diagnosis of dementia were divided into 3 groups according to age of onset of their first depressive episode; early-onset, midlife-onset and late-onset. Performance on measures of visuospatial episodic memory, executive function, verbal working memory and visual working memory were evaluated. Demographic and clinical characteristics such as age, education, severity of depressive symptoms during their worst previous depressive episode and current depression severity were included in multivariate regression models. Results: The late-onset depression group scored significantly lower on the verbal reasoning task than the early-onset group while there were no significant differences found on the other tasks. Participants with midlife-onset depression performed better in the visual episodic memory tasks, but worse on the verbal reasoning task, than participants with earlyonset depression. Current depression severity was negatively correlated with all four cognitive domains, while historical severity score was found to be significantly associated with cognitive performance on the verbal reasoning and spatial working memory tasks. Conclusions: The most important indicator of cognitive performance in depressive disorder appears to be current, rather than historic depression severity, however late onset depression may be associated with more executive impairment than an early age of onset of the first depressive episode.

Type: Article
Title: Investigating the relationship between age of onset of depressive disorder and cognitive function
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/gps.4979
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/gps.4979
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: age of onset, cognitive function, cognitive impairment, depression, early onset, late onset, mid‐life onset
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073475
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