INTRODUCTION Depression is one of the most common neuropsyquiatric disorders in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
AIM To evaluate whether depression exacerbates verbal and non-verbal memory impairment in early AD patients.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS The study compared the performance of 23 patients who received a diagnosis of AD, with or without depression, 15 patients with unipolar major depression (UD) and 20 healthy control subjects (HS) on memory tasks (recall and recognition) for words, abstract designs and position. AD patients were stratified into two groups, according to the presence or absence of depression, well matched on clinical and sociodemographic characteristics.
RESULTS Patients with AD scored significantly lower than HS and UD groups on verbal memory measures. However, the recognition was the only non-verbal memory measure that discriminated significantly between AD and UD groups. The AD groups (with or without depression) did not show any significant differences on memory performance.