Objective: To investigate whether depressive symptoms predict specific types of cognitive decline in order to elucidate the association between late life depression and cognitive decline. Background: Mechanisms underlying the association between late life depression and cognitive decline are still unclear. Method: Six hundred and forty-one elderly persons of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) aged 70-85 were examined by means of two measurement occasions over a period of 3 years. Depressive symptoms were assessed by means of the CES-D. Various cognitive functions were examined using neuropsychological tests. Results: Depressive symptoms were associated with decline in speed of information processing over a 3-year period, whereas there was no association between depression and increasing memory impairment of global mental deterioration. Conclusion: These findings suggest that depressive symptoms are associated with subcortical pathology, most probable white matter lesions.