Cognitive predictors of illness course at 12 months after first-episode of depression

M. Vicent-Gil, A. Keymer-Gausset, M. Serra-Blasco, M. Carceller-Sindreu, J. de Diego-Adeliño, J. Trujols, M. Mur, V. Pérez, E. Alvarez, N. Cardoner, M. J. Portella

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15 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) entails cognitive dysfunction in many cognitive domains, but it is still uncertain whether such deficits are present in the early stages. The purpose of the study is to determine the cognitive performance in first episode depression (FED) exploring the presence of different cognitive profiles, and the role of cognition in FED at baseline and long-term. Ninety subjects (18–50 years) were included, 50 patients with a FED and 40 healthy controls. Participants were assessed with a neuropsychological battery, covering language, attention, verbal memory, processing speed and executive domains. Neuropsychological group comparisons were performed with MANOVAs. A hierarchical cluster analysis was run to identify clusters of patients with similar neuropsychological performance. Two generalized linear models were built to predict baseline HDRS-17 and changes at 12 months. Patients performed significantly worse than healthy controls in language, attention/working memory, verbal memory, processing speed and executive functioning, with moderate to large effect sizes (0.5 - 1). Two clusters were found: cognitively preserved patients (n=37) and cognitively impaired patients (n=13). Large effect sizes of cognitive impairment in FED were observed between the two cognitive clusters (preserved and impaired). Depressive symptoms at baseline were predicted by verbal memory (p=0.003), while 12-month changes were predicted by executive function (p=0.041) and language (p=0.037). Cognitive performance predicted depressive symptoms at baseline and at follow-up, pointing to the usefulness of cognitive assessment even at the commencement of the illness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-537
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive predictors
  • First-episode
  • Major depression


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