Correlations between working memory effectiveness and depression levels after pharmacological therapy
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Psychiatr Pol 2013;47(2):255–267
Aim: The goal of the study was to identify possible associations between spatio-visual performance and verbal working memory, evaluated on admission, with the remission degree, assessed by the HDRS after 8-week pharmacotherapy with SSRI in a group of patients with depression. Material and methods. 141 subjects were examined (patients with depressive disorders, DD: n=86, healthy subjects, CG: n=55). TMT and the Stroop Test were used. Results. CG obtained higher results vs. DD-I patients (the evaluation started on the therapy onset) in the Stroop Test, RCNb/time (p<0.001), NCWd/time (p<0.001), NCWd/errors (p<0.001), TMT B/time (p=0.009). CG demonstrated higher results than DD-II patients (following eight weeks of pharmacological treatment) in the Stroop Test, RCNb/time and NCWd/time (p<0.001). Compared to DD-I group, DD-II group achieved better results in the Stroop Test, NCWd/time (p=0.03), NCWd/errors (p<0.001), TMT, A (p<0.001), B (p<0.001). The lowest performance levels in the Stroop Test NCWd/time (p=0.02), NCWd/errors (p=0.04) and in TMT, A/time (p=0.01), may have been related to the highest depression levels after pharmacological treatment. Conclusions. 1. Depressive disorders are associated with deteriorated efficiency of visual and verbal working memory. 2. Antidepressant treatment resulted in improved of visual and verbal working memory. 3. The better performance in the Stroop Test and in TMT on the first day of treatment may have influenced the noted reduction in severity of depressive symptoms after treatment with SSRI.