Cognitive functions and depression
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Psychiatr Pol 2009;43(1):31-40
Affective disorders are one of the main causes of hospitalisation among women and men older than fifty years old. Yearly, about 100 million people all over the world disclose symptoms of depression. Although the most noticeable signs of this disease concern the emotional sphere, it can also significantly influence their cognitive functioning. Deterioration in cognitive functions among patients who suffer from depression could have a varied nature and intensity (from deficits which are selective, particular and gentle to those which are generalized and more powerful). The deterioration of cognitive functioning can be related to the various aspects: perception, attention, memory (short-term, long-term and working memory), thinking and studying, executive functions, verbal fluency, psycho-motor speed and visual-spatial coordination. Differentiating the symptoms of depression from the symptoms of dementia is an essential issue. Neuropsychological examinations among depressive patients have to be conducted before and after the treatment when the symptoms are resolved.
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