Possible Link Between Depression and Memory Loss

A recent study conducted at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas is one of the first to substantiate memory deficits in individuals with depressed mood.

Researchers assessed working memory, the cognitive function that allows the brain to store information for short periods of time so that other cognitive processes can occur simultaneously.

depression3Study results suggest that individuals with and without depressed mood generally have a similar ability to actively remember information. However, when depressive thoughts are present, the people with depressed mood are unable to remove their attention from this information, leading to deficits in their memory—as much as 12% reduction in memory, compared to those without depressed mood.

In depressed individuals, rumination and negative thought-loops interfere with the ability to think. Researchers hypothesize that when a depressed person is exposed to stimuli such as a meaningful song or place that evokes sad feelings, the brain fixates on that and can’t focus on basic daily tasks.

Depression affects 151 million people worldwide and costs Americans $83 billion per year. The study’s findings may have implications for the way cognitive deficits are diagnosed and treated in depression.

Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping students of all ages improve study, reading, math and cognitive skills, including memory. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

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