Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders among the teenage and adult population. Recent evidence suggests that remission of a major depressive order might result in cognitive deficits. This study aims to evaluate the effect on cognitive function after a major depressive episode.
This is a systematic review and meta-analysis, including reviews from MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PsycINFO, and PsycARTICLES. The study included a total of 11,882 participants in remission from a major depressive episode with at least one cognitive test. A total of 8,533 healthy controls were also included in the study. The primary outcome was the difference in cognitive performance between depression remitters and healthy controls.
Out of the total depression remitters, 75 cognitive variables were found. The researchers reported a significant cognitive deficit in 55 (73%) of the 75 cognitive variables. Major deficits were in working memory, verbal learning, visual selective attention, and executive functioning. Intellectual functioning, autobiographical memory, auditory attention, and inhibition ability were equivalent in both depression remitters and healthy controls.
The research concluded that remission after a major depressive episode was associated with deficits in working memory, verbal learning, visual selective attention, and executive functioning. Therefore, depression treatments should be focused on addressing these cognitive functions.