Maristella Belfiori, Francesco Salis, Giorgia Demelas, Antonella Mandas

Association between Depressive Mood, Antidepressant Therapy and Neuropsychological Performances: Results from a Cross-Sectional Study on Elderly Patients

  • General Neuroscience

Background: Currently, the global demographic landscape is undergoing a transformative shift towards an increasingly aging population. This leads to an increase in chronic pathologies, including depression and cognitive impairment. This study aimed to evaluate the association between depressive mood, whether in treatment or not, and cognitive capacities, assessed using the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Methods: This study included 259 subjects, aged 65 years or older, evaluated at the Geriatric Outpatient Service of the University Hospital of Monserrato, Cagliari, between July 2018 and May 2022, who experienced subjective depressive mood and/or cognitive deficits. Results: Only 25.1% of the sample showed no cognitive impairment on the RBANS. Education was a significant regressor of the RBANS Total Scale scores (p < 0.0001) and was negatively associated with mood deflection (r = −0.15, p = 0.0161). Subjects with depressive mood had more impaired attention and visuospatial/constructional abilities compared to untreated euthymic patients. Post-hoc analysis, conducted with the Conover test, showed that untreated euthymic patients (GDS-15 ≤ 5, group 2) had a higher score on the RBANS total scale than patients with mood deflection (GDS-15 > 5, group 1), and treated euthymic patients (GDS-15 ≤ 5, group 3). Finally, different logistic regression analyses revealed a significant negative coefficient for GDS as a regressor of the RBANS total scale (coefficient: −0.04, p = 0.0089), visuospatial/constructional abilities (coefficient: −0.03, p = 0.0009), language (coefficient: −0.05, p = 0.0140), and attention (coefficient: −0.05, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Our analysis demonstrated that “naturally” euthymic people show better cognitive performances than people with depressive mood and subjects with acceptable mood due to antidepressants. Furthermore, the gender-based difference observed in the language domain suggests the potential utility of incorporating an alternative category for male patients in the Semantic Fluency test.

Need a simple solution for managing your BibTeX entries? Explore CiteDrive!

  • Web-based, modern reference management
  • Collaborate and share with fellow researchers
  • Integration with Overleaf
  • Comprehensive BibTeX/BibLaTeX support
  • Save articles and websites directly from your browser
  • Search for new articles from a database of tens of millions of references
Try out CiteDrive

More from our Archive