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screening for cognitive impairment in late onset depression in a Brazilian sample using the BBRC-edu



Depression and dementia are the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders in the elderly population. Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia in most countries, being responsible for more than half of all dementia cases. Late-onset depression is a frequent cause of cognitive decline in the elderly. Differentiating between cognitive impairment secondary to depression and incipient dementia poses a challenge in the clinical setting.


To evaluate the performance of elderly depressed patients using the BBRC-Edu.


We studied 25 patients with late onset depression (mean age: 73.6 y (6.6); schooling: 9.1 y (5.7)) and 30 patients with mild AD (mean age 76.6 y (5.4); schooling: 7.5 y (7.1)), who were compared to a control group of 30 healthy elderly (mean age 73.8 y (5.8); schooling: 9.1 y (5.4)) using the CERAD and BBRC-Edu batteries.


For the CERAD battery, depressed patients performed better than AD patients on all tasks (p<0.0001) except for Constructional Praxis (p>0.05), and performed poorer than controls on verbal fluency (animals) and Word List Recall tasks (p<0.0001). For the BBRC-Edu, depressed patients performed better than AD patients on all tasks (p<0.0001) except for Digit Span (direct order) (p=0.076) and Incidental Memory (p>0.05), and performed worse than controls on Learning (second presentation) and verbal fluency (fruits) tasks (p<0.0001).


Overall performance on the BBRC-Edu allowed differentiation of controls and depressed patients from AD patients.

Key words:
Alzheimer's disease; CERAD; BBRC-Edu; depression; screening test; cognition; elderly.


Depressão e demência são os transtornos neuropsiquiátricos de maior prevalência na população idosa. A doença de Alzheimer é a principal causa de demência na maioria os países, sendo a responsável por mais da metade dos casos de demência. Depressão de início tardio é uma causa frequente de declínio cognitivo no idoso. A diferenciação entre transtorno cognitivo secundário à depressão e demência em fase inicial é um desafio na prática clínica.


Avaliar o desempenho de pacientes idosos deprimidos usando a Bateria Breve de Rastreio Cognitivo (BBRC-Edu).


Estudamos 25 pacientes com depressão de início tardio, (idade média 73,6 (6,6); escolaridade: 9,1 (5,7)) e 30 pacientes com DA leve (CDR=1), (idade média 76,6 (5,4); escolaridade: 7,5 (7,1)). O desempenho de ambos os grupos foi comparado a um grupo controle de 30 idosos sadios (idade média 73,8 (5,8); escolaridade: 9,1 (5,4)).


Na Bateria CERAD pacientes deprimidos tiveram desempenho melhor que pacientes com DA em todos os testes (p<0,0001) exceto para Praxia Construcional (p>0,05), e desempenho pior que os controles na fluência verbal (animais) e Recordação da Lista de Palavras (p<0,0001). Na BBRC-Edu, pacientes deprimidos tiveram melhor desempenho comparados aos pacientes com DA em todos os testes (p<0,0001) exceto para Spam de Dígitos (ordem direta) (p=0,076) e Memória Incidental (p>0,05), e tiveram desempenho pior que os controles na Aprendizagem (segunda apresentação) e na fluência verbal (frutas) (p<0,0001).


A Bateria Breve de Rastreio Cognitivo permite a diferenciação de controles e pacientes com transtorno depressivo, de pacientes com doença de Alzheimer.

doença de Alzheimer; CERAD; BBRC-Edu; depressão; testes de rastreio; cognição; idosos.

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.


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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Apr-Jun 2012


  • Received
    02 Feb 2012
  • Accepted
    03 May 2012
Academia Brasileira de Neurologia, Departamento de Neurologia Cognitiva e Envelhecimento R. Vergueiro, 1353 sl.1404 - Ed. Top Towers Offices, Torre Norte, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, CEP 04101-000, Tel.: +55 11 5084-9463 | +55 11 5083-3876 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
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