Clinical Neuropsychological Evaluation in Older Adults With Major Depressive Disorder

Shawn M. McClintock, Lex Minto, David A. Denney, K. Chase Bailey, C. Munro Cullum, Vonetta M. Dotson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of the Review: Older adults with major depressive disorder are particularly vulnerable to MDD-associated adverse cognitive effects including slowed processing speed, decreased attention, and executive dysfunction. The purpose of this review is to describe the approach to a clinical neuropsychological evaluation in older adults with MDD. Specifically, this review compares and contrasts neurocognitive screening and clinical neuropsychological evaluation procedures and details the multiple components of the clinical neuropsychological evaluation. Recent Findings: Research has shown that neurocognitive screening serves a useful purpose to provide an acute and rapid assessment of global cognitive function; however, it has limited sensitivity and specificity. The clinical neuropsychological evaluation process is multifaceted and encompasses a review of available medical records, neurobehavioral status and diagnostic interview, comprehensive cognitive and clinical assessment, examination of inclusion and diversity factors as well as symptom and performance validity, and therapeutic feedback. As such, the evaluation provides invaluable information on multiple cognitive functions, establishes brain and behavior relationships, clarifies neuropsychiatric diagnoses, and can inform the etiology of cognitive impairment. Summary: Clinical neuropsychological evaluation plays a unique and critical role in integrated healthcare for older adults with MDD. Indeed, the evaluation can serve as a nexus to synthesize information across healthcare providers in order to maximize measurement-based care that can optimize personalized medicine and overall health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number55
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Cognition
  • Depression
  • Geriatric
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Neuropsychology
  • Older

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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