The impact of amyloid burden and APOE on rates of cognitive impairment in late life depression

Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, ADNI Depression Project

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Cognitive impairment (CI) is a key feature of late life depression (LLD), but the contribution of underlying neurodegenerative pathology remains unclear. Objective: To evaluate cognitive dysfunction in LLD relative to a sample of nondepressed (ND) older adults with matched levels of memory impairment and amyloid-β (Aβ) burden. Methods: Participants included 120 LLD and 240 ND older adults matched on age, education, sex, Mini-Mental State Exam, mild cognitive impairment diagnosis, and PET Aβ burden. Results: LLD showed higher rates of impairment relative to ND with 54.6% of the LLD sample demonstrating impairment in at least one cognitive domain compared to 42.9% of controls (H = 7.13, p = 0.008). LLD had poorer performance and higher rates of impairment on Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test learning and memory compared to controls. In the overall sample, Aβ positivity was associated with worse performance on Logical Memory I (p = 0.044), Logical Memory II (p = 0.011), and Trail Making Test -B (p = 0.032), and APOE ϵ4 genotype was associated with worse performance on Logical Memory I (p =0.022); these relationships did not differ between LLD and ND. Conclusion: LLD showed higher rates of CI driven by focal deficits in verbal learning and memory. Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers were associated with worse performance on timed set-shifting and story learning and memory, and these relationships were not impacted by depression status. These findings suggest that AD may account for a portion of previously reported multi-domain CI in LLD and highlight the potential for AD to confound studies of cognition in LLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1002
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Amyloid
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Late life depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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