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Supplementary Material for: Baseline Depressive Symptoms as a Predictor of Incident Dementia in a Prospectively Followed Cohort of Elders with Essential Tremor

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posted on 2024-07-04, 09:39 authored by Berry D.S., Ghanem A., McGurn M.M., Huey E.D., Cosentino S., Louis E.D.
Background: Essential tremor (ET) patients may exhibit a variety of non-motor features, including cognitive decline and depressive symptoms. Studies of several neurodegenerative diseases link depression to cognitive decline, suggesting depression is an early marker of dementia. We examined whether baseline depressive symptoms predict incident dementia in elders with ET. Methods: 141 ET cases age 70 or older at baseline, enrolled in a prospective study of cognitive performance, took part in evaluations at baseline, and at 18, 36, 54, and 72 months. Participants completed the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), a 30-item self-report measure of depressive symptoms, and a battery of neuropsychological tests and functional assessments, from which we derived cognitive diagnoses at each evaluation. We calculated Cox proportional hazards regression equations to determine incident dementia risk based on participants’ baseline depression scores. Results: Mean baseline age was 81.5 + 6.7 years. Higher baseline GDS scores were associated with increased risk of dementia in an unadjusted model (hazards ratio [HR] = 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.02 – 1.20, p = 0.01), and after controlling for baseline age, education, number of medications, and tremor onset age (HR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.02 – 1.25, p = 0.02). Conclusion: Baseline depression scores predicted incident dementia in elders with ET. With each one-point increase in baseline depression score, there was a 13% increase in incident dementia risk. Given the published data that reported depression may be twice as high in elders with ET compared to controls,1 this association is particularly worrisome in the ET population.

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