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Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2013 May;28(3):272-81. doi: 10.1093/arclin/act002. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Relationships among neurocognition, symptoms, and functioning in treatment-resistant depression.

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Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada.


Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) refers to a condition where individuals with major depressive disorder have inadequate or no response to treatment. Although functional disability is a prominent and costly feature of treatment resistance, very little is known about the factors that contribute to and maintain functional impairment in TRD. This is the first study to report the neurocognitive profile of TRD and the relationships among neurocognition, symptoms, and functioning in this syndrome. Results indicated that patients with TRD (N = 33) exhibit mildly reduced performance across all neurocognitive domains with a superimposed moderate impairment in verbal working memory. Neurocognition was associated with functional competence (what one can do), whereas depressive symptoms were associated with functional performance (what one actually does). Understanding the psychological mechanisms related to functioning may help us move toward recovery in this chronically ill group.

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