Cognitive depression, a new disorder defined by researchers

Home Cognitive depression, a new disorder defined by researchers
Written by Doug Hampton

It was defined by researchers at Stanford University, and it concerns no less than one in four patients.

As we already know, depression comes in several forms: postpartum after childbirth, chronic depressive disorder, to name but a few.

But researchers at Stanford University have determined a new genus, called cognitive depression.

Cognitive depression: the basis of the study

The scientists started from this observation:

Cognitive deficits in depression have been associated with poor functional capacity, dysfunction of frontal neural circuits, and poorer response to antidepressants. However, we do not know whether these impairments combine to identify a specific cognitive subgroup of people with major depressive disorder and to what extent these impairments influence antidepressant outcomes.

To carry out their study, the scientists relied on 1,008 adult volunteers with major depressive disorder, but not being treated.

Prescription of three antidepressants

Participants were randomly assigned one of three widely prescribed antidepressants: escitalopram or sertraline, venlafaxine-XR, and norepinephrine. 712 people completed the eight-week treatment.

Two surveys aimed to analyze the symptoms before and after treatment. Cognitive functions, more specifically their verbal memory, their working memory, their decision speed and their attention, were measured in parallel. Brain scans were also performed.

Symptoms of Cognitive Depression

Result ? 27% of the volunteers suffered from this depressive form, and the traditional drugs mentioned above did not prove to be as effective after two months of treatment. Most patients saw their condition improve, except for those with the following symptoms…

Subjects suffering from it find it difficult to control themselves, memory is not optimal, no more than concentration. Attention, decision-making ability and speed are slowed down.

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