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Can depression mimic symptoms of dementia?

Can depression mimic symptoms of dementia?

Depression, nutritional deficiencies, side-effects from medications and emotional distress can all produce symptoms that can be mistaken as early signs of dementia, such as communication and memory difficulties and behavioural changes.

How would you differentiate dementia delirium and depression in an elderly patient?

Delirium occurs suddenly (over a matter of hours or days) and the symptoms tend to fluctuate throughout the day; depression describes a negative change in mood that has persisted for at least two weeks; and the onset of dementia is generally slow and insidious.

What’s the difference between delirium and dementia?

Delirium is typically caused by acute illness or drug toxicity (sometimes life threatening) and is often reversible. Dementia is typically caused by anatomic changes in the brain, has slower onset, and is generally irreversible.

What is the difference between confusion and dementia?

However, while delirium refers to a sudden onset of confusion and disorientation, dementia is a progressive condition. It can occur over the course of months and years. Unlike delirium — which usually goes away fairly quickly with treatment — dementia remains a long-term condition.

Can a dementia patient be diagnosed with depression?

Elderly patients who experience memory impairment should be screened for depressive symptoms, since they may be suffering from depression with “pseudodementia,” that is, cognitive impairment traditionally believed to be related to the presence of depressive disorder.

Who is at risk for depression, delirium, and dementia?

Virtual Mentor. 2008;10 (6):383-388. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor

Can a major depressive episode be mistaken for dementia?

A Major Depressive Episode may involve symptoms severe enough to be mistaken for dementia: memory problems, difficulty thinking and concentrating, overall reduction in IQ; the individual also may perform poorly on mental status exam and neuropsychological testing (1).

Why are older people less likely to be diagnosed with depression?

They may have other, less obvious symptoms of depression, or they may not be willing to talk about their feelings. Therefore, doctors may be less likely to recognize that their patient has depression. Sometimes older people who are depressed appear to feel tired, have trouble sleeping, or seem grumpy and irritable.

Elderly patients who experience memory impairment should be screened for depressive symptoms, since they may be suffering from depression with “pseudodementia,” that is, cognitive impairment traditionally believed to be related to the presence of depressive disorder.

A Major Depressive Episode may involve symptoms severe enough to be mistaken for dementia: memory problems, difficulty thinking and concentrating, overall reduction in IQ; the individual also may perform poorly on mental status exam and neuropsychological testing (1).

Can an older adult be diagnosed with depression?

Healthcare providers may mistake an older adult’s symptoms of depression as just a natural reaction to illness or the life changes that may occur as we age, and therefore not see the depression as something to be treated.