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Influence of gender and age on cognitive inhibition in late-onset depression: a case-control study

Authors

  • S. Richard-Devantoy,

    Corresponding author
    1. McGill University, Department of Psychiatry and Douglas Mental Health University Institute McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Montréal, QC, Canada
    • Laboratoire de Psychologie des Pays de la Loire, UPRES EA 4638, Université d'Angers, Angers, France
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  • F. Deguigne,

    1. Centre Santé Mentale Angevin CESAME, Sainte Gemmes sur Loire, France
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  • C. Annweiler,

    1. Laboratoire de Psychologie des Pays de la Loire, UPRES EA 4638, Université d'Angers, Angers, France
    2. Department of Neuroscience, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Angers University Hospital, Angers, France
    3. Robarts Research Institute, Department of Medical Biophysics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
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  • G. Letourneau,

    1. University of Montreal, Department of Psychiatry and Research Center - Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
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  • O. Beauchet

    1. Laboratoire de Psychologie des Pays de la Loire, UPRES EA 4638, Université d'Angers, Angers, France
    2. Department of Neuroscience, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Angers University Hospital, Angers, France
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Correspondence to: Stéphane Richard-Devantoy, MD, PhD., E-mail: stephane.richard-devantoy@douglas.mcgill.ca

Abstract

Objective

To compare cognitive inhibition performance between people with early-onset (EOD) or late-onset depression (LOD) and controls, and between women and men with LOD.

Methods

On the basis of a case-control design, global executive performance (Frontal Assessment Battery); verbal (Hayling), attention (Stroop), and motor (Go/No-Go) components of cognitive inhibition; mental shifting (Trail Making Test parts A and B); and updating in working memory (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) were assessed in 40 participants (10 depressed women with LOD (i.e., ≥60 years old), 10 depressed women with EOD (i.e., <60 years old), 10 healthy women and 10 depressed men with LOD (i.e., ≥60 years old)).

Results

Older depressed women, irrespective of age of depression onset, had greater cognitive inhibition impairments (attention and verbal component) compared with healthy women. LOD was significantly associated with the attention component of cognitive inhibition impairment, unlike EOD (p = 0.026). No executive differences were found regarding age of first-onset depression in older depressed women, and between women and men with LOD.

Conclusion

Cognitive inhibition impairment, and more specifically its attention component, was the main characteristic of depression in the studied sample of older adults, independently of gender and age of depression onset. It is essential to perform similar studies in both genders in view of future tailor-made therapeutic modalities. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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