A Depressive Endophenotype Of Poorer Cognition Among Cognitively Healthy Community-dwelling Adults: Results From The Western Australia Memory Study

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Medical Sciences




Grant Number

NHMRC Number : 324100


This article was originally published as : Johnson, L. A., Sohrabi, H. R., Hall, J. R., Kevin, T., Edwards, M., O'Bryant, S. E., & Martins, R. N. (2014). A depressive endophenotype of poorer cognition among cognitively healthy community‐dwelling adults: results from the Western Australia memory study. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 30(8), pp.881-886. Original article available here


Objective: The objective was to evaluate in a cognitively normal population the utility of an endophenotype of the depression–cognition link previously shown to be related to cognitive functioning in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Methods: The data of 460 cognitively normal adults aged 32–92 years (M = 63.5, standard deviation = 9.24) from the Western Australian Memory Study with the Cross-national comparisons of the Cambridge Cognitive Examination-revised (CAMCOG-R) scores and 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) scores were analyzed to determine the relationship between the five-item depressive endophenotype (DepE) scale drawn from the GDS and level of performance on a measure of cognitive functioning. Results: For the entire sample, there was a nonsignificant trend toward a negative relationship between DepE and CAMCOG-R scores. When analyzed for those 65 years and older, there was a significant negative relationship between the two measures (p = 0.001) with DepE scores significantly increasing the risk for performing more poorly on the CAMCOG-R (odds ratio = 1.53). Analysis of data for those 70 years and older showed that DepE was the only predictor significantly related to poorer CAMCOG-R performance (p = 0.001). For the 70 years and older group, DepE scores significantly increased the risk of poorer CAMCOG-R scores (odds ratio = 2.23). Analysis of the entire sample on the basis of ApoEε4 carrier status revealed that DepE scores were significantly negatively related only to ApoEε4 noncarrier regardless of age. Conclusions: Elevated DepE scores are associated with poor neuropsychological performance among cognitively normal older adults. Use of the DepE may allow for the identification of a subset of older adults where depression is a primary factor in cognitive decline and who may benefit from antidepressant therapies.