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Comparative Study of Cognitive Function Between Treatment-Resistant Depressive Patients and First-Episode Depressive Patients

Authors Rao D, Xu G, Lu Z, Liang H, Lin K, Tang M

Received 7 August 2019

Accepted for publication 13 November 2019

Published 9 December 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3411—3417

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S226405

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jun Chen


Dongping Rao,1 Guiyun Xu,1 Zenghong Lu,2 Huiwei Liang,1 Kangguang Lin,1 Muni Tang1

1Department of Psychiatry, The Affiliated Brain Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University (Guangzhou Huiai Hospital), Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2The First Affiliated Hospital of Gannan Medical University, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Muni Tang
Department of Psychiatry, The Affiliated Brain Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University (Guangzhou Huiai Hospital), Mingxin Road #36, Liwan District, Guangzhou 510370, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-20-81268720
Fax +86-20-81891391
Email munitang@163.com

Objective: Despite reports of cognitive dysfunction during the acute phase of depression, there is a lack of studies in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The aim of this study was to investigate the cognitive function profile of TRD and compare cognitive dysfunction between subjects with TRD and first-episode depression.
Patients and methods: The study included 31 patients with TRD and 53 with first-episode depression. Cognitive function was assessed by a series of neuropsychological tools such as the verbal fluency test, Modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (M-WCST), Tower of Hanoi test, Chinese-revision of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-RC), and Trail Making Test A and B.
Results: There were no significant demographic differences between the TRD, first-episode depression, and normal control groups (gender, age, years of education). The full-scale, verbal, and performance intelligence quotients measured with the WAIS-RC were also not significantly different (p>0.05). The normal group scores were all significantly better than TRD and first-episode depression, and the TRD group performed significantly worse than subjects with first-episode depression on Trail Making Test B, two WCST subscales, and the profile score of the Tower of Hanoi test (all p<0.05).
Conclusion: Patients with depression exhibited global impairments in cognitive function, and these were more common in TRD. Poor executive function may play an important role in TRD.

Keywords: treatment-resistant depression, first-episode depression, cognitive dysfunction

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