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March 2005

Depression Is Unrelated to Conversion to Dementia in Patients With Mild Cognitive Impairment

Arch Neurol. 2005;62(3):505. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.3.505-a

We would like to use our own data to debate the article by Modrego and Ferrandez1 on the risk of developing dementia of Alzheimer type (AD) for patients with depression and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The authors conclude that patients with MCI and depression are at more than twice the risk of developing AD as those without depression.

In our sample, 46 consecutive patients with MCI, fulfilling the criteria proposed by Petersen et al,2 were included and re-evaluated after 2 years. According to criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, the number of patients with depression at baseline was 22 (47.8%). All patients with depression were treated with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Of the 24 patients without depression, 17 developed dementia at follow-up and 7 did not; in contrast, 8 patients with depression developed dementia and 14 did not. Furthermore, patients with depression remained more stable on cognitive performances than patients with MCI who did not have depression. (Mean ± SD change of Mini-Mental State Examination scores in patients with depression was −0.8 ± 3.1, and in patients without depression, it was −3.1 ± 3.8; P = .03.)

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