Depression and cognitive deficits in geriatric schizophrenia

Emily D'Antonio, Mark R. Serper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: Past reports have found patients with comorbid depression and schizophrenia spectrum disorders exhibit greater deficits in memory and attention compared to schizophrenia spectrum disorder patients without depressive symptoms. However, in contrast to younger schizophrenia patients, the few past studies using cognitive screens to examine the relationship between depression and cognition in inpatient geriatric schizophrenia have found that depressive symptomatology was associated with relatively enhanced cognitive performance. In the current study we examined the relationship between depressive symptoms and cognitive deficits in geriatric schizophrenia spectrum disorder patients (n = 71; mean age = 63.7) on an acute psychiatric inpatient service. Method: Patients completed a battery of cognitive tests assessing memory, attention and global cognition. Symptom severity was assessed via the PANSS and Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia. Results: Results revealed that geriatric patients' depression severity predicted enhancement of their attentional and verbal memory performance. Patients' global cognitive functioning and adaptive functioning were not associated with their depression severity. Conclusion: Contrary to patterns typically seen in younger patients and non-patient groups, increasing depression severity is associated with enhancement of memory and attention in geriatric schizophrenia spectrum disorder patients. Also, diverging from younger samples, depression severity was unassociated with patients adaptive and global cognitive functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Geriatric
  • Neurocognition
  • Schizophrenia


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