Skill Checkup: A 70-Year-Old Woman With History of Depression and Mild Cognitive Impairment Presents With Memory Lapses

Jasvinder P. Chawla, MD, MBA


December 22, 2022

The Skill Checkup series provides a quick, case-style interactive quiz highlighting key guidelines- and evidence-based information to inform clinical practice.

A 70-year-old Black woman in the United States with a history of depression and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) presents with memory lapses, olfactory dysfunction, and fatigue, which began approximately 6-9 months ago. The patient is accompanied by her husband, who is concerned about her increasing difficulties with day-to-day activities, such as handling money and managing appointments. On several occasions, the patient has gotten lost during her walks in their neighborhood or forgotten how to get to familiar places, such as the grocery store. She admits to feeling confused or "blank" at times and states that she is feeling increasingly depressed.

The patient is currently taking fluoxetine 10 mg daily for depression. There is no history of smoking or alcohol use. Furthermore, the patient claims that she does not have a family history of neurodegenerative diseases. To her knowledge, the patient has not had COVID-19. There is no recent history of fever, myalgia, headache, or rash. There are no abnormalities on physical exam, and laboratory tests are within the normal range. The patient's height is 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) and her weight is 147 lb (66.68 kg).


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