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The Prevalence of Cognitive Dysfunction in Major Depressive Disorder

September 10, 2020

In this video, Bernhard T. Baune, PhD, MD, discusses the prevalence of cognitive dysfunction in people with major depressive disorder.

Dr. Baune, head of the Department of Mental Health at the University of Münster, Germany, presented "Advances in Understanding Neurobiological Underpinnings and Treatment Interfaces of Cognition in Depression" at the Psych Congress 2020 preconference on psychopharmacology.


Read the transcript:

Cognitive dysfunction is not just a symptom in patients with major depressive disorder. But it is a common symptom in the acute phase, as well as the remitted phases. In the acute phase, nearly all patients, around 94, 95 percent of patients, do report this symptom of cognitive dysfunction.

It can be varying from memory dysfunction, attention deficit executive function, or other dysfunctions. In the remitted phase, when patients usually are either completely out of the depression or have some symptoms left, around 40 to 45 percent of patients still report to have cognitive dysfunction in one of these domains.

That is interesting because these dysfunctions of cognition, then, often relate to psychosocial dysfunction. For example, when they go back to work or to their normal social life, they might recognize then slowing of speech, or lack of concentration, or not being able to do things as they were used to. So, having issues with executive function or others, although their mood has improved.

So it is an important domain for both the acute and the remitted phases, or the long‑term phases, of depression.


Visit the Psych Congress Newsroom for more coverage of the conference and insights from the speakers.


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