© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is being investigated as a therapeutic alternative for patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), but its cognitive safety has been scarcely explored. The aim of this exploratory study is to evaluate cognitive function of patients before and after deep brain stimulation of the subgenual cingulate gyrus (SCG). Eight treatment-resistant depressed patients were implanted in subgenual cingulate gyrus. A neuropsychological battery was used to evaluate patients before surgery and 1-year after. A matched group of eight first-episode patients was also assessed. A MANOVA was performed for each cognitive domain and those tests showing main time effects were then correlated with depressive symptoms and with medication load. There were significant group and time effects for memory and a group effect for language. No significant interactions between groups or cognitive domains were observed. Medication load was negatively correlated with memory at time 1, and clinical change negatively correlated with memory improvement. These findings support the cognitive safety of DBS of subgenual cingulate gyrus, as cognitive function did not worsen after chronic stimulation and memory performance even improved. The results, though, should be interpreted cautiously given the small sample size and the fact that some treatment-resistant patients received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) before implantation.
- Chronic depression
- Somatic therapies