Answered by Bernhard Baune
Patients with depression frequently experience cognitive deficits and a decline in general, social and occupational function. Cognitive deficits are found to be a principal mediator of psychosocial impairment and workforce performance in depression. More specifically, various clinical studies show that cognitive domains such as memory (including delayed verbal recall and language), psychomotor speed (including visuo-spatial/constructional abilities) and executive function (including planning) are associated with general and occupational function.
Moreover, cognitive deficits at baseline, such as impaired working memory, verbal memory retention, visual memory, attentional switching, event-based prospective memory, executive function, non-verbal learning and motor measures, are associated with future general functioning and social and occupational functioning. Importantly, this relationship between cognitive function and general function not only holds true in acute depression but also in remitted phases of depression. Addressing these cognitive deficits provides further opportunity to prevent and treat poor daily function in patients with depression.