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Cognitive dysfunction in elderly females with depressive symptoms

Masaaki Tanaka, Akira Ishii, Emi Yamano, Hiroki Ogikubo, Masatsugu Okazaki, Kazuro Kamimura, Yasuharu Konishi, Shigeru Emoto, Yasuyoshi Watanabe

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(12): CR706-711

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883596


Background:    A depressive state is a common symptom in the elderly and often accompanies cognitive impairment. The coexistence of depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment is a serious problem, as it increases adverse outcomes for health, functional status, and mortality. It would thus be of great value to clarify the cognitive dysfunction associated with depressive symptoms. We aimed to identify the cognitive dysfunction, in particular, impairment of the response inhibition component of executive function, associated with depressive symptoms in elderly females using the Simple Color Reaction Test and Modified Stroop Color-Word Test.
    Material/Methods:    The study group consisted of 35 elderly women. They performed cognitive function task trials for 9 min. Univariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with the prevalence of the depressive state.
    Results:    Longer reaction time and lower correction rate of response inhibition trials were related to the prevalence of the depressive symptoms.
    Conclusions:    Impaired function of response inhibition may be a specific feature of the depressive state. Our findings may help clarify the neural mechanisms underlying the depressive state of elderly females.

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