Neurological correlates of depressive symptoms in Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia

Steve Simpson, Harry Allen, Barbara Tomenson, Alistair Burns

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background. Organic brain disease such as dementia or stroke is associated with depression. In dementia, depressive symptoms are common where there is evidence of vascular disease and in Alzheimer's disease they often coexist with extrapyramidal signs. Method. In a study of 60 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 39 patients with vascular dementia, depressive symptoms were rated using the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia. Neurological signs were assessed and severity of cognitive impairment was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination. Results. Depressive symptoms were more severe in vascular dementia. Pyramidal tract signs had no relationship to depression in either type of dementia. In vascular dementia, extrapyramidal and grasp reflexes were strongly related to the severity of depression, and were associated with neurovegetative features. In Alzheimer's disease, extrapyramidal signs were the strongest independent predictor of the severity of depression. Conclusion. Depressive symptoms are more severe in vascular dementia compared to Alzheimer's disease and were related to neurological abnormalities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-136
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1999


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Depression
    • Neurological correlates
    • Vascular dementia


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