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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2006 Jul;28(5):790-807.

Hypothyroidism and major depression: a common executive dysfunction?

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Department of Psychiatry, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.


Little is known about the possible link between the cognitive disorders associated with hypothyroidism and those encountered in depression. This study examines attentional and executive functions as well as the intensity of anxiety and depressive symptoms in hypothyroidism and major depression and the possible link between these symptoms and cognitive disturbances. This study confirms the existence of psychomotor slowing associated with attentional and executive disturbance in major depression as well as in hypothyroidism. However, while depressed subjects manifested a conscious bias with material of negative emotional valence, no such bias was found in the hypothyroid subjects. While the hypothyroid state is accompanied by anxiety/depressive symptoms, it seems that the latter are too discrete for an attentional bias to be observed with material with a negative emotional valence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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