Effectiveness of vortioxetine in patients with major depressive disorder and early-stage dementia: The MEMORY study

J Affect Disord. 2023 Oct 1:338:423-431. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2023.06.024. Epub 2023 Jun 12.


Background: Depression and dementia are highly prevalent in older adults and often co-occur. This Phase IV study investigated the effectiveness and tolerability of vortioxetine in improving depressive symptoms, cognitive performance, daily and global functioning and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and comorbid early-stage dementia.

Methods: Patients (n = 82) aged 55-85 years with a primary diagnosis of MDD (onset before age 55 years) and comorbid early-stage dementia (diagnosed ≥6 months before screening and after onset of MDD; Mini-Mental State Examination-2 total score, 20-24) received vortioxetine for 12 weeks (initiated at 5 mg/day and up-titrated to 10 mg/day at day 8, with flexible dosing thereafter [5-20 mg/day]). The primary endpoint was change from baseline in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score at week 12.

Results: Significant improvement in depressive symptom severity was seen from week 1 onwards (P < 0.0001). At week 12, the least-square mean (standard error) change in MADRS total score from baseline was -12.4 (0.78). Significant improvements in cognitive performance were observed (from week 1 for the Digit Symbol Substitution Test and week 4 for the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test). Patients also experienced significant improvements in daily and global functioning, and HRQoL. Vortioxetine was well tolerated. From week 4 onwards, more than 50 % of patients were receiving 20 mg/day.

Limitations: Open-label study.

Conclusions: Vortioxetine demonstrated effectiveness in clinically significantly improving depressive symptoms, cognitive performance, daily and global functioning, and HRQoL in patients with MDD and comorbid early-stage dementia treated for 12 weeks.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04294654.

Keywords: Cognitive functioning; Daily functioning; Dementia; Health-related quality of life; Major depressive disorder; Vortioxetine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase IV
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dementia* / chemically induced
  • Depressive Disorder, Major* / psychology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Piperazines / adverse effects
  • Quality of Life
  • Sulfides / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vortioxetine / therapeutic use


  • Vortioxetine
  • Piperazines
  • Sulfides

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04294654