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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-96

Comparing cognitive dysfunction in euthymic patients with first episode and recurrent episodes of major depression

1 Institute of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Karim A Aziz
Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Abbasiya, PO Box 11566, Cairo
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_47_19

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Background Euthymic patients with major depressive disorder demonstrate cognitive deficits in executive function, attention, and memory, but to date, limited amount of work has compared patients with first-episode depression (FED) with patients with recurrent episodes of depression (RED), and no studies have been conducted in the Egyptian population. Aim The aim was to compare cognitive functions between euthymic patients after FED and patients with RED. Participants and methods A total of 60 euthymic participants (30 with FED and 30 with RED) were administered a battery of cognitive tasks, including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Wechsler Memory Scale, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Results Patients with RED performed significantly poorly than patients with FED on tasks measuring abstract thinking, verbal memory, working memory, verbal immediate recall, and executive functions (which included tasks for conceptualization, cognitive flexibility, shifting, planning, and sustained attention). Conclusion There are significant differences in performance on cognitive functions between euthymic patients with FED and RED across memory tasks and executive functions but with relative sparing of tasks of general intelligence. Poorer cognitive functions may possibly be associated with recurrent episodes.

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