Résumé : We wanted to investigate whether the difference between actual and premorbid intelligence can be useful to make an early differentiation between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and depression among elderly. A Dutch version of the National Adult Reading Test (NLV), a measure of premorbid IQ and the Raven Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM), a measure of actual intelligence were administered to patients with mild (34) and moderate (27) AD, depressed elderly (36) and healthy control subjects (51). Logistic regression analyses revealed that intellectual decline (i.e. subtracting NLV percentile score from RCPM percentile score) was only able to predict group membership when moderate AD patients were compared to depressed and healthy individuals. Our results indicate that intellectual decline may not be a concomitant of elderly depression. However, the differentiation between mild AD and elderly depression can not be made by means of the difference between premorbid (NLV) and actual (RCPM) intelligence scores. © 2008 Sage Publications.