How Depression Affects Cognitive Functions

How does depression affect a person’s mental abilities, their cognitive functions? That’s what a group of researchers investigated in a recent study. The study focused on patients with depression in Singapore and other Asian countries, and gauged the levels of cognitive dysfunction in a cross-sectional study of these individuals.

One Study, Multiple Goals

Focusing on Asian patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), the research team decided to evaluate and describe the cognitive dysfunction associated with the disorder. To do so effectively, the team also needed to differentiate between functional disability and cognitive dysfunction, and they had to take into account the severity of each patient’s depression.

The Widespread Effects of Depression

The study participants came from a variety of Asian countries, as well as from different centres or general hospital clinics. The cross-sectional study involved assessments using Clinical Global Impression-Severity metrics. In addition, patients had to fill out a number of questionnaires to gauge their condition’s severity, their level of cognitive function, and their functional disability as judged by the Sheehan Disability Scale.

Around 66% of the participants were women, between the ages of 12.5 years to 46.5 years. Over 80% of them resided in urban areas and had part-time or full-time jobs. Around half of the participants were new to major depressive disorder, currently going through their first episode of depression. The rest of the participants had experienced depressive episodes in the past. Around 86.7% of the people reported that they were currently undergoing treatment for their mental health in Singapore or their Asian country of residence.

Perceived Cognitive Dysfunction

Throughout the study, patients had to rate their level of depression and also rate how their condition affected daily life— relating to others, doing common tasks, caring for the home, or working. According to the results, 78.9% of the participants claimed that their major depressive disorder made those tasks and activities difficult on some level. The results equated a “clinically relevant perceived cognitive dysfunction,” according to study authors.

The patients included in this study had MDD classified as mild to moderate. They were not even the most severe cases, and yet they experienced noticeable cognitive dysfunction. The study highlights the depth of the effects of depression on a person’s life, particularly in the areas of retrospective memory, prospective memory, planning or organisational skills, and attention or concentration.

Treatment for Depression in Singapore

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, even if those symptoms are mild or moderate, you may have a tougher time with work, family, and household tasks. You need swift, effective treatment to help you control or even overcome your depression. With the help of a psychiatrist in Singapore, you could boost your mental health and see a noticeable improvement in your cognitive function as well. Call us today (62509833) or drop us a message on our contact form and we will help you set up your first appointment. Our beautiful office can be found here (click for map): Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic – Psychiatrists and Psychologists for Mental Health in Singapore.

Article by Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic Blog Team

Source: The study can be downloaded here.