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It is called “cognitive depression”: here is a new form of depression defined by researchers.

We already knew that there were several types of depression. We obviously think of postpartum depression, which affects many women after childbirth, but also of recurrent depressive disorder, or even bipolar disorder with manic phases. According to the WHO, 280 million suffer from depression worldwide. Recently, researchers at Stanford University identified a new type of depression which they dubbed “cognitive depression”, as the journal JAMA Network points out.

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Its symptoms are as follows: it is difficult to control ourselves, our memory is undermined, it is more difficult to concentrate. Attention, the ability to decide and the speed to do so are slowed down. Generally, the cognitive circuit is less efficient.

Adapt the treatment to the type of depression

After a study they conducted on 1,008 patients, they realized that 27% of them suffered from this depressive form, and that conventional drugs (acting on norepinephrine and serotonin) were not not as effective after two months of treatment. The condition of most of the patients in the study had improved, except for those who had the symptoms mentioned above.

What the researchers emphasize is that depression is heterogeneous, and that the treatment must adapt to it. Treating all depressions with the same mechanism does not work. And that would be explained quite simply by the fact that this form of depression is not due to the drop in hormones in the brain. It would originate in two regions of the brain: the dorsal anterior cingulate regions and the prefrontal cortex, which are intended to help us channel our ideas, select and respond effectively.

In fact, increasing serotonin levels would not be helpful. They advise instead to approach it via therapies that target cognitive dysfunctions in particular.

Source: JAMA Network

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