A depressive endophenotype for predicting cognitive decline among mexican American adults and elders

Leigh A. Johnson, Adriana Gamboa, Raul Vintimilla, Melissa Edwards, James Hall, Brent Weiser, Menaka Yadav, Tony Dickensheets, Sid E. O'Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Late life depression is a prodromal feature and a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We identified five items in the Geriatric Depression scale (DepE) that are important as a risk for MCI and AD: memory problems, feeling blue, crying, feeling worthless, and trouble concentrating. Objective: Our goal was to examine the relationship between DepE and cognition in a cohort of Mexican Americans. Methods: Data from 317 Mexican Americans from the HABLE study were analyzed. DepE scores were dichotomized into two groups: endorsement of 1 item or less, and endorsement of 2 or more items. Cognition was assessed via neuropsychological tests, and diagnosis was based on consensus review. We utilized linear regression to examine the association between DepE and cognitive performance, and logistic regression to examine the utility of DepE in predicting MCI. To examine the impact of DepE on memory over 12 months, we performed ANOVA analysis. Results: Elevated DepE scores were associated with poorer performance on various measures of memory and cognition, but not executive or visual spatial skills. Over 12 months, we found a decline in immediate memory among women but not men. Those with high scores were 4 times more likely to have MCI. ANOVA of total scores revealed differences between groups on immediate memory (p < 0.05) in women, with no significant differences on delay recall in either gender. Conclusion: DepE can be utilized in Mexican Americans to identify those at risk of memory related cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 23 Aug 2016


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Endophenotype
  • Mexican American
  • Mild cognitive impairment


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