Impaired decision making and delayed memory are related with anxiety and depressive symptoms in acromegaly

Iris Crespo, Alicia Santos, Elena Valassi, Patricia Pires, Susan M. Webb, Eugenia Resmini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Evaluation of cognitive function in acromegaly has revealed contradictory findings; some studies report normal cognition in patients with long-term cured acromegaly, while others show attention and memory deficits. Moreover, the presence of affective disorders in these patients is common. Our aim was to evaluate memory and decision making in acromegalic patients and explore their relationship with affective disorders like anxiety and depressive symptoms. Thirty-one patients with acromegaly (mean age 49.5 ± 8.5 years, 14 females and 17 males) and thirty-one healthy controls participated in this study. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) were used to evaluate decision making, verbal memory, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, respectively. Acromegalic patients showed impairments in delayed verbal memory (p < 0.05) and more anxiety and depressive symptoms (p < 0.05) than controls. In the IGT, acromegalic patients presented an altered decision-making strategy compared to controls, choosing a lower number of the safer cards (p < 0.05) and higher number of the riskier cards (p < 0.05). Moreover, multiple correlations between anxiety and depressive symptoms and performance in memory and decision making were found. Impaired delayed memory and decision making observed in acromegalic patients are related to anxiety and depressive symptoms. Providing emotional support to the patients could improve their cognitive function. A key clinical application of this research is the finding that depressive symptoms and anxiety are essentially modifiable factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-763
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Acromegaly
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive function
  • Decision making
  • Depression
  • Memory


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