Depression: Assessment of Dementia

  • Depression may masquerade as dementia and is probably the most common differential diagnosis that should be considered. 
  • Be aware that depression and dementia may co-exist and depression may precede dementia. 
  • If strongly suspected, a trial of antidepressants may be indicated, with reassessment of the individual’s capabilities and cognitive function 6-8 weeks later.
  • Consider using the Geriatric Depression Scale to help objectively screen for depression (see PDF below)