Objectives : The purpose of this study was to investigate 1) the neuropsychological deficits with major depressive disorder(MDD) in depressed state and 2) the changes of neuropsychological dysfunctions during depressed episodes and remitted periods in the MDD group. Methods : 12 patients with MDD and 70 normal controls who were diagnosed and classified by DSM-IV and SCID-IV interview participated in this study. The psychopathology was measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression(HAM-D) and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale(BPRS). The memory function, executive function, and sustained attention were measured by a trained psychologist using the Korean version of Memory Assessment Scale(K-MAS), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test(WCST), and Vigilance(VIG) and Cognitrone (COG) in Vienna Test System. After 6 weeks of treatment, we retested the cognitive tests in order to measure the cognitive functions in remitted states. Results : Patients with MDD achieved significantly lower score in sentence immediately recall, verbal memory score and total memory score of the K-MAS, total errors of the WCST, response time of Vigilance and response time at "Yes" response of Cognitrone than normal controls at baseline. After 6 weeks of medication, the psychiatric symptoms in the patient group were attenuated, and most of the neuropsychological functions including attention, memory, and frontal/executive function were improved except for response time of Cognitrone. Conclusions : This study provides evidence for distinct neuropsychological deficits in patients with MDD on their depressed states and remitted periods. The impairment on response time remains after remission, and this would be a trait marker of major depressive disorder.
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