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, 109 (4), 323-6

The Impact of Self-Reported Depressive Symptoms on Memory Function in Neurological Outpatients

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The Impact of Self-Reported Depressive Symptoms on Memory Function in Neurological Outpatients

Roy P C Kessels et al. Clin Neurol Neurosurg.

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the effect of self-reported depressive symptoms on memory function in a non-psychiatric, non-litigation outpatient sample and to identify which memory tests may be most susceptible for depression-related decline.

Methods: Self-reported depressive symptoms were measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and memory function was assessed using a wide range of neuropsychological memory tests (digit span, word-list learning, visuospatial learning, incidental memory, story recall). Patients who visited the neurological outpatients clinic and were referred for a neuropsychological examination were included (N=50).

Results: Correlation analyses showed that the BDI-II was significantly correlated with immediate story recall, delayed verbal recognition and the digit span. Furthermore, patients with mild or moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms performed worse than non-depressed patients on immediate story recall, but not on any of the other memory tests.

Discussion: Memory performance is only minimally disrupted in neurological outpatients with depressive symptoms compared to non-depressed outpatients. These results are discussed in relation to limited mental effort and weak encoding in patients with self-reported depressive symptoms.

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