Depression and Cognitive function

Cognitive function is defined as an intellectual process by which one becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering.

Cognitive function has 3 main areas: motor, emotion and sensory. Motor relates to movement, emotion relates to interpretation and response to feelings, while sensory relates to sensations for example temperature, pleasure or pain.


In this research study published in The Lancet Psychiatry, the authors looked at the link between depression and cognitive function. What they discovered, is that the cognitive function decline seen in major depression persists after improvement of an episode of depression and worsens with repeat depression episodes.

The authors recommend depression treatments, including relapse prevention treatment strategies to target these cognitive functions to improve outcome.


Cognitive function. (n.d.) Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. (2009). Retrieved August 19 2019 from

Semkovska, M., Quinlivan, L., O’Grady, T., Johnson, R., Collins, A., O’Connor, J., Gload, T. (2019). Cognitive function following a major depressive episode: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/s2215-0366(19)30291-3


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