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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 54-59

Cognitive impairment in depressed students of Cairo University Hospital

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Heba Fathy
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1105.153780

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Introduction Major depression may affect the ability to think, concentrate, make decisions, formulate ideas, reason, and remember. Patients with major depression also often show neurocognitive deficits consistent with frontal lobe dysfunction. The co-occurrence of depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment plays a role in determining disability in individuals. Aim of the study To assess the presence of cognitive deficits in depressed undergraduate university students and then to assess the correlation between severity of depression and cognitive impairment in these students. Patients and methods After obtaining consent from the ethical committee in Kasr El Aini Hospital, 50 patients with the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder according to the DSM-IV criteria were recruited from the psychiatric outpatient clinic of Cairo University Student Hospital, with no sex preference. Fifty control participants of similar age, sex, and educational backgrounds were recruited as volunteers. Psychometric procedures: Beck Depression Inventory for severity of depression, selected subtests of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), and Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R). Results Medical and paramedical students recruited from six faculties constituted 40% of the entire sample. Forty percent of the cases were diagnosed with moderate depression, whereas 60% of them were diagnosed with severe depression. All the scores of the subtests of WAIS and WMS-R used were higher in the control group. The scores of the Beck Depression Inventory were correlated positively with the digit symbol and digit span subtests of WAIS and to figural memory and visual memory span subtests of WMS-R. Conclusion Depressed undergraduate university students had more cognitive deficits than nondepressed students. The severity of depression was correlated positively with some of these cognitive deficits.

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