Date Submitted


Faculty Advisor

Esperanza Anaya, PhD

Second Faculty Advisor

Adam Parks, PhD

Third Faculty Advisor

Amy Sickel, PsyD


Previous research has established a link between depression and cognitive impairment, as well as between anticholinergic medication and cognitive impairment. Depression has been shown to impact executive functions and language. Anticholinergic medication has been linked with memory impairments. However, no research has looked at these variables concurrently and how they impact neuropsychological testing performance. This study examined both depression and anticholinergic medication to see which was a better predictor of neuropsychological performance in the domains of executive functioning, language, and verbal memory. Archival data from medical records were gathered from a neuropsychology clinic in the Midwest. Test scores, demographic information, prescribed medication, and depression scores were obtained from medical records and entered into a dataset. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to see which of the variables was the best predictor of neuropsychological performance. It was hypothesized that anticholinergic medications would be a better predictor of scores on tests that measure executive functioning, language, and verbal memory than depression. The results of the study found anticholinergic medication was predictive of performance on Trail Making Test part B and CIFA supermarket items while depression was predictive of performance on the Modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test Categories Completed. The implications for this study are that anticholinergic burden and depression appear to impact some performance on measures of executive functions and language, which should be considered during conceptualization and treatment recommendations.