The association between cognitive function and subsequent depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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2017-01

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Abstract

Despite a growing interest in understanding the cognitive deficits associated with major depressive disorder (MDD), it is largely unknown whether such deficits exist before disorder onset or how they might influence the severity of subsequent illness. The purpose of the present study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal datasets to determine whether cognitive function acts as a predictor of later MDD diagnosis or change in depression symptoms. Eligible studies included longitudinal designs with baseline measures of cognitive functioning, and later unipolar MDD diagnosis or symptom assessment. The systematic review identified 29 publications, representing 34 unique samples, and 121 749 participants, that met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Quantitative meta-analysis demonstrated that higher cognitive function was associated with decreased levels of subsequent depression (r = -0.088, 95% confidence interval. -0.121 to -0.054, p < 0.001). However, sensitivity analyses revealed that this association is likely driven by concurrent depression symptoms at the time of cognitive assessment. Our review and meta-analysis indicate that the association between lower cognitive function and later depression is confounded by the presence of contemporaneous depression symptoms at the time of cognitive assessment. Thus, cognitive deficits predicting MDD likely represent deleterious effects of subclinical depression symptoms on performance rather than premorbid risk factors for disorder.

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10.1017/S0033291716002075

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Scult, MA, AR Paulli, ES Mazure, TE Moffitt, AR Hariri and TJ Strauman (2017). The association between cognitive function and subsequent depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychol Med, 47(1). pp. 1–17. 10.1017/S0033291716002075 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13834.

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Scholars@Duke

Hariri

Ahmad Hariri

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Integrating psychology, neuroimaging, pharmacology and molecular genetics in the search for biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior and related risk for psychopathology.

Strauman

Timothy J. Strauman

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

FOR POTENTIAL STUDENTS (fall 2024 class): 

Dr. Timothy Strauman and Dr. Ann Brewster will be seeking to admit a student for Fall 2024 who will be an important member of their collaborative projects. Dr. Brewster is an intervention scientist and a faculty member in Duke’s Social Science Research Institute. The collaborative projects focus on creating, testing, and implementing school-based therapeutic and preventive interventions for adolescents at risk for negative academic and mental health outcomes. We are partnering with the Durham Public Schools as well as with other local school districts, and Dr. Brewster has extensive experience and expertise in developing the partnerships, working with community members, and the intervention process itself. We are especially interested in applicants with experience in community-based interventions, with interests in adolescence, and with knowledge and experience working with both behavioral and neuroimaging data.



Professor Strauman's research focuses on the psychological and neurobiological processes that enable self-regulation, conceptualized in terms of a cognitive/motivational perspective, as well as the relation between self-regulation and affect. Particular areas of emphasis include: (1) conceptualizing self-regulation in terms of brain/behavior motivational systems; (2) the role of self-regulatory cognitive processes in vulnerability to depression and other disorders; (3) the impact of treatments for depression, such as psychotherapy and medication, on self-regulatory function and dysfunction in depression; (4) how normative and non-normative socialization patterns influence the development of self-regulatory systems; (5) the contributory roles of self-regulation, affect, and psychopathology in determining immunologically-mediated susceptibility to illness; (6) development of novel multi-component treatments for depression targeting self-regulatory dysfunction; (7) utilization of brain imaging techniques to test hypotheses concerning self-regulation, including the nature and function of hypothetical regulatory systems and characterizing the breakdowns in self-regulation that lead to and accompany depression.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.