Executive dysfunction in late-life depression.
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Katedra Psychiatrii UJ CM
Katedra Chorób Wewnętrznych i Gerontologii UJ CM
Wydział Rehabilitacji Ruchowej AWF Krakowie
Submission date: 2016-04-28
Final revision date: 2016-06-18
Acceptance date: 2016-06-19
Online publication date: 2017-08-29
Publication date: 2017-08-29
Corresponding author
Anna Rajtar-Zembaty   

Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Wydział Lekarski, Katedra Psychiatrii, Katedra Psychiatrii UJ CM, ul. M. Kopernika 21 A, 31-501 Kraków, 31-501 Kraków, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2017;51(4):705–718
Nowadays there are numerous reports stressing the occurrence of cognitive functions disorders in late-life depression (LLD). More and more frequently the studies stress the role of executive dysfunctions in LLD. The purpose of the study was an evaluation of the components of executive functions in non-demented LLD patients, as well as an evaluation of the relation between the individual components of executive functions and the level of depressiveness.

The study included 87 persons with depression and 100 persons in the control group. For the purpose of a screening evaluation of cognitive functions the Mini–MentalState Examination (MMSE) was applied. For the evaluation of the level of executive functions efficiency the following were chosen: a) Trail Making Test (TMT), b) Verbal Fluency Tests (VFT) and c) go/no-go task (GNG).

A significant difference was found in the levels of efficiency of all the components of executive functions in patients with late-life depression. The patients with depression demonstrated the slowest psychomotor speed and worse results in the tests evaluating cognitive flexibility, semantic fluency and inhibition. Statistically significant relation was observed between the higher result in GDS-SF (Geriatric Depression Scale–Short Form) and the worse performance in the GNG test.

The patients with depression demonstrated a significant impairment of executive functions. A relation was found between the cognitive control disorder and the level of depressiveness. Executive dysfunctions can play an important role in the persistence of depressive symptoms. Identification of patients with depression and executive dysfunctions has significant therapeutic implications.