Vol. 15 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2021
Original Article Páginas: 121 a 127

Cognitive performance of older adults with a low level of education with and without depression

Authors Julia de Lima Bomfim; Natália Mota de Souza Chagas; Lívio Rodrigues Leal; Rebeca Mendes de Paula Pessoa; Bianca Letícia Cavalmoretti Ferreira; Marcos Hortes Nisihara Chagas


keywords: aging, depression, cognition, mental health, educational status.

Major depression can develop in individuals aged 60 years or older and is commonly associated with cognitive decline in this population, especially the domains of working memory, attention, executive functions, and processing speed. Schooling is a protective factor with regard to cognitive decline.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the cognitive performance of community-dwelling older adults with a low level of schooling with and without major depression.
METHODS: A descriptive, analytical, cross-sectional study was conducted with 22 community-dwelling older adults with depression and 187 without depression. The following assessment tools were employed: Mini Mental Health Examination, Brief Cognitive Screening Battery, Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD), Digit Span Test (forward and backward), and an object similarity test.
RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were found between the groups with and without depression on any of the tests.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that there are no differences in the cognitive performance of older people with and without depression on neurocognitive tests commonly used in clinical practice. Future studies with different designs and methods as well as specific tests for older people with a low level of schooling could assist in the understanding of these relations and the mechanisms involved.


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