Memory deficits precede increases in depressive symptoms in later adulthood

TitleMemory deficits precede increases in depressive symptoms in later adulthood
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAichele, S, Ghisletta, P, Neupert, S
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology: Series B
Date Published01/2018
KeywordsBi-directional, depression, Longitudinal Change, memory

Objectives: We examined bidirectional, time-ordered associations between age-related changes in depressive symptoms and memory.
Method: Data came from 107,599 community-dwelling adults, aged 49–90 years, who participated in the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Depressive symptoms were measured with the EURO-D inventory, and memory was evaluated as delayed recall of a 10-word list. Participants were assessed up to five times at 2-year intervals. Dynamic structural equation models were used to estimate longitudinal and time-ordered (lead-lag) relations between depressive symptoms and memory performance.
Results: Depressive symptoms increased and memory scores decreased across the observed age range, with worsening mostly evident after age 62 years. These long-term changes were moderately negatively correlated (r = −.53, p Conclusion: In later adulthood, lower memory performance at a given age predicts subsequent 2-year increases in depressive symptoms.