Dement Neurocogn Disord.  2017 Dec;16(4):110-113. 10.12779/dnd.2017.16.4.110.

Loneliness in Elderly Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University Medical College, Ansan, Korea. parkmuno@yahoo.co.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Loneliness is a significant concern among the elderly, particularly in societies with rapidly growing aging populations. While loneliness may influence neuropsychological function, the exact nature of the association between loneliness and neuropsychological function is poorly understood.
METHODS
We evaluated 50 elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 33 without cognitive dysfunction with respect to demographics, clinical characteristics, cognitive and functional performance, depression scale, and loneliness scale. The associations between loneliness and neuropsychological assessments were evaluated.
RESULTS
Although loneliness was not associated with cognitive or functional performance, it was correlated with depression in elderly patients. For elderly patients with MCI, depressive symptoms were reported more frequently in individuals with a high degree of loneliness (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS
Neither cognitive performance nor functional performance is associated with loneliness; however, loneliness is associated with depressive symptoms in elderly patients with MCI.

Keyword

loneliness; depression; mild cognitive impairment; neuropsychological function

MeSH Terms

Aged*
Aging
Demography
Depression
Humans
Loneliness*
Mild Cognitive Impairment*
Pilot Projects*
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