Subjects in the study were 42 patients with depressive disorder without dementia and 32 patients with Alzheimer's disease and depression, alt aged over 59. The clinical pattern of depressive disorder was analyzed using the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Major depression symptoms were found in 71.4% of the patients without dementia and in 27.3% of those with Alzheimer's disease. The criteria for minor depressive disorder were met by 14.3% of patents without dementia, while dysthymic disorder was recognized in 9.5% of this subsample. In the group of Alzheimer patients with depression not meeting the criteria for a major depressive episode, the most frequent symptoms were: tearfulness (75%), helplessness (62.5%), and depressed mood (50%).