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Cognitive impairment in depression and its (non-)response to antidepressant treatment
  1. D Chamith Halahakoon,
  2. Jonathan P Roiser
  1. Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan P Roiser, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AZ, UK; j.roiser{at}

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ABSTRACT FROM: Shilyansky C, Williams LM, Gyurak A, et al. Effect of antidepressant treatment on cognitive impairments associated with depression: a randomised longitudinal study. Lancet Psychiatry 2016;3:425–35.

What is already known on this topic

Cognitive impairment is a reliable feature of major depressive disorder. Depressed individuals perform more poorly than never-depressed healthy volunteers across a range of neuropsychological tests. Cognitive impairments predict poor response to antidepressant drugs, persist after successful treatment1 and are associated with poor psychosocial functioning.2 Remediation of cognitive function in depression, for example by using cognitive training strategies3 or cognitive-enhancing drugs such as modafinil,4 have been shown to boost recovery from depression. The current study aimed to test whether standard antidepressant treatment improves cognitive function in depression.

Methods of the study

This was a longitudinal, randomised, open-label trial assessing the effects of three antidepressant drugs on cognitive function in depressed individuals. There were three treatment arms (one for each drug) as well as an untreated healthy control group. Cognitive performance in depressed patients was assessed at baseline and following 8 weeks of treatment; testing was completed in the control group at the same intervals. The raters who carried out clinical …

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  • Funding DCH and JPR are funded by the Wellcome Trust.

  • Competing interests JPR is a consultant for Cambridge Cognition.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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