Centre for Youth Mental Health - Research Publications

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    Cognitive functioning in ultra -high risk for psychosis individuals with and without depression: Secondary analysis of findings from the NEURAPRO randomized clinical trial
    Mallawaarachchi, SR ; Amminger, GP ; Farhall, J ; Bolt, LK ; Nelson, B ; Yuen, HP ; McGorry, PD ; Markulev, C ; Schaefer, MR ; Mossaheb, N ; Schloegelhofer, M ; Smesny, S ; Hickie, IB ; Berger, GE ; Chen, EYH ; de Haan, L ; Nieman, DH ; Nordentoft, M ; Riecher-Roessler, A ; Verma, S ; Thompson, A ; Yung, AR ; Allott, KA (ELSEVIER, 2020-04-01)
    Neurocognitive impairments are well established in both ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis and major depressive disorder (MDD). Despite this understanding, investigation of neurocognitive deficits in UHR individuals with MDD and its association with MDD within this population, has been scarce. Hence, this study aimed to examine any differences in neurocognition at baseline between those with MDD at baseline and those with no history of MDD, as well as determine whether neurocognitive variables are significantly associated with meeting criteria for MDD at follow-up, while controlling for relevant clinical variables, within a UHR cohort. Data analysis was conducted on 207 participants whose baseline neurocognition was assessed using Brief Assessment of Cognition for Schizophrenia, as part of a trial of omega-3 fatty acids (NEURAPRO) for UHR individuals. While baseline MDD was the strongest predictor, poorer verbal memory and higher verbal fluency were significantly associated with MDD at 12 months (p = .04 and 0.026, respectively). Further, higher processing speed was significantly associated with MDD at medium-term follow-up (p = .047). These findings outline that neurocognitive skills were independently associated with meeting criteria for MDD at follow-up within UHR individuals, with novel findings of better verbal fluency and processing speed being linked to MDD outcomes. Hence, neurocognitive performance should be considered as a marker of risk for MDD outcomes and a target for management of MDD in UHR.