To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Autistic symptoms represent a frequent feature in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). However, the prevalence and the cognitive and functional correlates of autistic symptoms in unaffected first-degree relatives of people with SSD remain to be assessed.
A total of 342 unaffected first-degree relatives related to 247 outpatients with schizophrenia were recruited as part of the multicenter study of the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses (NIRP). Autistic features were measured with the PANSS Autism Severity Scale. Three groups of participants, defined on the presence and severity of autistic symptoms, were compared on a wide array of cognitive and functional measures.
Of the total sample, 44.9% presented autistic symptoms; 22.8% showed moderate levels of autistic symptoms, which can be observed in the majority of people with SSD. Participants with higher levels of autistic symptoms showed worse performance on Working Memory (p = 0.014) and Social Cognition (p = 0.025) domains and in the Global Cognition composite score (p = 0.008), as well as worse on functional capacity (p = 0.001), global psychosocial functioning (p < 0.001), real-world interpersonal relationships (p < 0.001), participation in community activities (p = 0.017), and work skills (p = 0.006).
A high prevalence of autistic symptoms was observed in first-degree relatives of people with SSD. Autistic symptoms severity showed a negative correlation with cognitive performance and functional outcomes also in this population and may represent a diagnostic and treatment target of considerable scientific and clinical interest in both patients and their first-degree relatives.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted mental health across different groups, including healthcare workers (HWs). To date, few studies focused on potential positive aspects that may follow the exposure to the pandemic. We investigated the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Italian HWs and whether posttraumatic growth (PTG) dimensions affected the risk of suicidal ideation (SI) during the first COVID-19 wave.
An online self-report survey was conducted between April and May 2020. Sociodemographic data, information about COVID-19-related stressful events, Impact of the Event Scale-revised, and Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory-Short Form (PTGI-SF) scores were collected and compared between participants. Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scores were also collected to assess SI through item 9. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between PTGI and SI.
Among 948 HWs, 257 (27.0%) reported a provisional PTSD diagnosis. The median PTGI-SF score was 24. Participants reporting PTSD symptoms had higher scores in the Spiritual change, Appreciation of life, and New possibilities domains, and in the total PTG scale. A total of 100 HWs (10.8%) screened positive for SI. Improvements in Relating to others domain of PTGI-SF (odds ratioOR: .46; 95% confidence interval: .25–.85) were associated with lower odds of SI.
COVID-19 pandemic has been indicated as a risk factor for SI, also among HWs. PTG may have a protective role on suicide risk. Improvements in Relating to others domain reduced odds of SI, consistently with the role of loneliness and lack of connectedness with others in enhancing suicidal risk.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a prevalent and highly disabling condition, characterized by a range of phenotypic expressions, potentially associated with geo-cultural differences. This article aims to provide an overview of the published studies by the International College of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders, in relation to the Snapshot database which has, over the past 10 years, gathered clinical naturalistic data from over 500 patients with OCD attending various research centers/clinics worldwide. This collaborative effort has provided a multi-cultural worldwide perspective of different socio-demographic and clinical features of patients with OCD. Data on age, gender, smoking habits, age at onset, duration of illness, comorbidity, suicidal behaviors, and pharmacological treatment strategies are presented here, showing peculiar differences across countries.
Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been reported to increase during the COVID-19 lockdowns because of the hygiene requirements related to the pandemic. Patients with adjustment disorder (AD) may, in turn, represent a vulnerable population for identifiable stressors. In this study, we aimed at assessing potential symptoms changes in OCD patients during the lockdown in comparison with AD patients as well as versus healthy controls (HC).
During the COVID-related lockdown, we enrolled 65 patients and 29 HC. Participants were tested with four clinical rating scales (Yale–Brown obsessive-compulsive scale and Brown Assessment of Beliefs Scale for OCD patients; Beck Depression Inventory-II and State–Trait Anxiety Inventory-Y for each group) that had been also administered just before the Italian lockdown.
Our results showed that during the lockdown: (i) the symptoms of depression and anxiety increased in all groups, but this increase was most pronounced in HC (p < 0.001); (ii) OCD symptoms severity did not increase, but the insight worsened (p = 0.028); (iii) the proportion of OCD patients showing hygiene-related symptoms increased (p = 0.031 for obsessions of contamination), whereas that of patients with checking-related symptoms decreased.
The lockdown-induced psychological distress apparently changed the characteristics and the pattern of OCD symptoms expression but not their overall severity. This evidence confirms the heterogeneity and changing nature of OCD symptoms, strongly depending on the environmental circumstances.
Deficits in social cognition (SC) are significantly related to community functioning in schizophrenia (SZ). Few studies investigated longitudinal changes in SC and its impact on recovery. In the present study, we aimed: (a) to estimate the magnitude and clinical significance of SC change in outpatients with stable SZ who were assessed at baseline and after 4 years, (b) to identify predictors of reliable and clinically significant change (RCSC), and (c) to determine whether changes in SC over 4 years predicted patient recovery at follow-up.
The reliable change index was used to estimate the proportion of true change in SC, not attributable to measurement error. Stepwise multiple logistic regression models were used to identify the predictors of RCSC in a SC domain (The Awareness of Social Inference Test [TASIT]) and the effect of change in TASIT on recovery at follow-up.
In 548 participants, statistically significant improvements were found for the simple and paradoxical sarcasm of TASIT scale, and for the total score of section 2. The reliable change index was 9.8. A cut-off of 45 identified patients showing clinically significant change. Reliable change was achieved by 12.6% and RCSC by 8% of participants. Lower baseline TASIT sect. 2 score predicted reliable improvement on TASIT sect. 2. Improvement in TASIT sect. 2 scores predicted functional recovery, with a 10-point change predicting 40% increase in the probability of recovery.
The RCSC index provides a conservative way to assess the improvement in the ability to grasp sarcasm in SZ, and is associated with recovery.
Resilience is defined as the ability to modify thoughts to cope with stressful events. Patients with schizophrenia (SCZ) having higher resilience (HR) levels show less severe symptoms and better real-life functioning. However, the clinical factors contributing to determine resilience levels in patients remain unclear. Thus, based on psychological, historical, clinical and environmental variables, we built a supervised machine learning algorithm to classify patients with HR or lower resilience (LR).
SCZ from the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses (N = 598 in the Discovery sample, N = 298 in the Validation sample) underwent historical, clinical, psychological, environmental and resilience assessments. A Support Vector Machine algorithm (based on 85 variables extracted from the above-mentioned assessments) was built in the Discovery sample, and replicated in the Validation sample, to classify between HR and LR patients, within a nested, Leave-Site-Out Cross-Validation framework. We then investigated whether algorithm decision scores were associated with the cognitive and clinical characteristics of patients.
The algorithm classified patients as HR or LR with a Balanced Accuracy of 74.5% (p < 0.0001) in the Discovery sample, and 80.2% in the Validation sample. Higher self-esteem, larger social network and use of adaptive coping strategies were the variables most frequently chosen by the algorithm to generate decisions. Correlations between algorithm decision scores, socio-cognitive abilities, and symptom severity were significant (pFDR < 0.05).
We identified an accurate, meaningful and generalizable clinical-psychological signature associated with resilience in SCZ. This study delivers relevant information regarding psychological and clinical factors that non-pharmacological interventions could target in schizophrenia.
Limited studies have investigated cannabis use in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), despite its widespread use by patients with psychiatric illnesses. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency, correlates, and clinical impact of cannabis use in an Italian sample of patients with OCD.
Seventy consecutive outpatients with OCD were recruited from a tertiary specialized clinic. To assess cannabis-related variables, patients completed a questionnaire developed for the purpose of this study, investigating cannabis use-related habits and the influence of cannabis use on OCD symptoms and treatments. A set of clinician and self-reported questionnaires was administered to measure disease severity. The sample was then divided into three subgroups according to the pattern of cannabis use: “current users” (CUs), “past-users” (PUs), and “non-users” (NUs).
Approximately 42.8% of patients reported lifetime cannabis use and 14.3% reported current use. Approximately 10% of cannabis users reported an improvement in OCD symptoms secondary to cannabis use, while 23.3% reported an exacerbation of anxiety symptoms. CUs showed specific unfavorable clinical variables compared to PUs and NUs: a significant higher rate of lifetime use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, and a higher rate of pre-OCD onset comorbidities. Conversely, the three subgroups showed a similar severity of illness.
A considerable subgroup of patients with OCD showed a predisposition towards cannabis use and was associated with some specific clinical characteristics, suggesting the need for targeted consideration and interventions in this population.
When facing a traumatic event, some people may experience positive changes, defined as posttraumatic growth (PTG).
Understanding the possible positive consequences of the pandemic on the individual level is crucial for the development of supportive psychosocial interventions. The present paper aims to: 1) evaluate the levels of PTG in the general population; 2) to identify predictors of each dimension of post-traumatic growth.
The majority of the sample (67%, N = 13,889) did not report any significant improvement in any domain of PTG. Participants reported the highest levels of growth in the dimension of “appreciation of life” (2.3 ± 1.4), while the lowest level was found in the “spiritual change” (1.2 ± 1.2). Female participants reported a slightly higher level of PTG in areas of personal strength (p < .002) and appreciation for life (p < .007) compared to male participants, while no significant association was found with age. At the multivariate regression models, weighted for the propensity score, only the initial week of lockdown (between 9-15 April) had a negative impact on the dimension of “relating to others” (B = −.107, 95% CI = −.181 to −.032, p < .005), while over time no other effects were found. The duration of exposure to lockdown measures did not influence the other dimensions of PTG.
The assessment of the levels of PTG is of great importance for the development of ad hoc supportive psychosocial interventions. From a public health perspective, the identification of protective factors is crucial for developing ad-hoc tailored interventions and for preventing the development of full-blown mental disorders in large scale.
Panic disorder (PD) is a prevalent and impairing anxiety disorder with previous reports suggesting that the longer the condition remains untreated, the greater the likelihood of nonresponse. However, patients with PD may wait for years before receiving a guideline-recommended pharmacological treatment. The widespread prescription of benzodiazepines (BDZ) for managing anxiety symptoms and disorders might delay the administration of pharmacotherapy according to guidelines (eg, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs). The present study aimed to determine the mean duration of untreated illness (DUI) in a sample of PD patients, to quantify and compare DUI-SSRI to DUI-BDZ, and to compare findings with those from previous investigations.
Three hundred and fourteen patients with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition diagnosis of PD were recruited from an Italian outpatient psychotherapy unit, and epidemiological and clinical variables were retrieved from medical records. Descriptive statistical analyses were undertaken for sociodemographic and clinical variables, Wilcoxon matched-pair signed rank test was applied to compare the distribution of DUI-SSRI vs DUI-BDZ, and Welch’s t test was performed to compare findings with those from previous studies.
The mean DUI-SSRI of the total sample was 64.25 ± 112.74 months, while the mean DUI-BDZ was significantly shorter (35.09 ± 78.62 months; P < 0.0001). A significantly longer DUI-SSRI, compared to findings from previous studies, was also observed.
The present results confirm a substantial delay in implementing adequate pharmacological treatments in patients with PD, and highlight the discrepancy between recommendations from international treatment guidelines and common clinical practice in relation to BDZ prescription.
Highlighting the relationship between obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorder (TD), two highly disabling, comorbid, and difficult-to-treat conditions, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) acknowledged a new “tic-related” specifier for OCD, ie, obsessive–compulsive tic-related disorder (OCTD). As patients with OCTD may frequently show poor treatment response, the aim of this multicenter study was to investigate rates and clinical correlates of response, remission, and treatment resistance in a large multicenter sample of OCD patients with versus without tics.
A sample of 398 patients with a DSM-5 diagnosis of OCD with and without comorbid TD was assessed from 10 different psychiatric departments across Italy. For the purpose of the study, treatment response profiles in the whole sample were analyzed comparing the rates of response, remission, and treatment-resistance as well as related clinical features. Multivariate logistic regressions were performed to identify possible factors associated with treatment response.
The remission group was associated with later ages of onset of TD and OCD. Moreover, significantly higher rates of psychiatric comorbidities, TD, and lifetime suicidal ideation and attempts emerged in the treatment-resistant group, with larger degrees of perceived worsened quality of life and family involvement.
Although remission was associated with later ages of OCD and TD onset, specific clinical factors, such as early onset and presence of psychiatric comorbidities and concomitant TD, predicted a worse treatment response with a significant impairment in quality of life for both patients and their caregivers, suggesting a worse profile of treatment response for patients with OCTD.
Previous researches highlighted among patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) a significant presence of autistic traits, which seem to influence clinical and functional outcomes. The aim of this study was to further deepen the investigation, evaluating how patients with SSD with or without autistic traits may differ with respect to levels of functioning, self-esteem, resilience, and coping profiles.
As part of the add-on autism spectrum study of the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses, 164 outpatients with schizophrenia (SCZ) were recruited at eight Italian University psychiatric clinics. Subjects were grouped depending on the presence of significant autistic traits according to the Adult Autism Subthreshold Spectrum (AdAS Spectrum) instrument (“AT group” vs “No AT group”). Other instruments employed were: Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), Specific Levels of Functioning (SLOF), Self-Esteem Rating scale (SERS), Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA), and brief-COPE.
The “AT group” reported significantly higher scores than the “No AT group” on SLOF activities of community living but significantly lower scores on work skills subscale. The same group scored significantly lower also on SERS total score and RSA perception of the self subscale. Higher scores were reported on COPE self-blame, use of emotional support and humor domains in the AT group. Several correlations were found between specific dimensions of the instruments.
Our findings suggest the presence of specific patterns of functioning, resilience, and coping abilities among SSD patients with autistic traits.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a prevalent and disabling condition with frequent chronic course. Staging models applied to psychiatric disorders seek to define their extent of progression at a particular time-point and differentiate early, milder clinical phenomena from those characterizing illness progression and chronicity. In OCD patients, a staging model has been recently proposed but not tested yet. This was the aim of the present study.
From an overall sample of 198 OCD patients, recruited across two psychiatric clinics in Northern Italy, 70 patients on stable treatment completed a follow-up assessment ranging from 12 to 24 months. At follow-up initiation, patients had been divided into four staging groups, according to the model proposed by Fontenelle and Yucel. At the end of the follow-up, patients were subdivided into three groups (no stage change, improved stage, or worsened stage) compared with statistical analyses.
At the end of the follow-up, 67.1% patients showed no stage changes, 24.3% a stage improvement, and 8.6% a stage progression. Worsened patients showed higher rates of comorbid disorders and higher rates of unfavorable employment characteristics compared to the other subgroups (P < .05). Patients with worsened stage showed higher prevalence of somatic obsessions (P < .05), while patients with improved stage showed higher rates of magical thinking and violence/harm obsessions compared to other groups (P < .05).
The present results provide epidemiologic and clinical correlates of the first application of a staging model in a sample of OCD patients, encouraging further studies to assess the utility of this approach in the field.
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented traumatic event influencing the healthcare, economic, and social welfare systems worldwide. In order to slow the infection rates, lockdown has been implemented almost everywhere. Italy, one of the countries most severely affected, entered the “lockdown” on March 8, 2020.
The COvid Mental hEalth Trial (COMET) network includes 10 Italian university sites and the National Institute of Health. The whole study has three different phases. The first phase includes an online survey conducted between March and May 2020 in the Italian population. Recruitment took place through email invitation letters, social media, mailing lists of universities, national medical associations, and associations of stakeholders (e.g., associations of users/carers). In order to evaluate the impact of lockdown on depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms, multivariate linear regression models were performed, weighted for the propensity score.
The final sample consisted of 20,720 participants. Among them, 12.4% of respondents (N = 2,555) reported severe or extremely severe levels of depressive symptoms, 17.6% (N = 3,627) of anxiety symptoms and 41.6% (N = 8,619) reported to feel at least moderately stressed by the situation at the DASS-21.
According to the multivariate regression models, the depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms significantly worsened from the week April 9–15 to the week April 30 to May 4 (p < 0.0001). Moreover, female respondents and people with pre-existing mental health problems were at higher risk of developing severe depression and anxiety symptoms (p < 0.0001).
Although physical isolation and lockdown represent essential public health measures for containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are a serious threat for mental health and well-being of the general population. As an integral part of COVID-19 response, mental health needs should be addressed.
Little is known about the post-acute effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in patients with major depression. The present study focused on the 6-month follow-up of a sample of patients with major depression, after the completion of an acute 4 weeks rTMS trial, with the aim of evaluating response (in terms of sustained and late response) and relapse rates.
Following the completion of an acute trial of rTMS (T0-T4), 31 drug-resistant depressed patients (bipolar or unipolar) entered a naturalistic follow-up period of 6 months, with three timepoints (T5, T6, and T7) during which they were assessed with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Young Mania Rating Scale.
Results showed that in the 6 months following an acute transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) trial, a higher rate of late responders was observed among previously acute TMS nonresponders (63.64%, 7 out of 11) compared to the rate of relapse among those who had acutely responded to TMS (10%, 2 out of 20). In addition, an overall high rate of maintained response (90%) was observed.
Present findings seem to support the possibility of obtaining a clinical response also after the end of an acute TMS trial in patients with major depression. The concomitant low rate of relapse observed at the end of follow-up along with a high rate of maintained response provides further support to the post-acute efficacy of TMS. Nonetheless, further controlled studies, with larger samples and longer follow-up observation, are needed to confirm the reported results.
Greater levels of insight may be linked with depressive symptoms among patients with schizophrenia, however, it would be useful to characterize this association at symptom-level, in order to inform research on interventions.
Data on depressive symptoms (Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia) and insight (G12 item from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) were obtained from 921 community-dwelling, clinically-stable individuals with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia, recruited in a nationwide multicenter study. Network analysis was used to explore the most relevant connections between insight and depressive symptoms, including potential confounders in the model (neurocognitive and social-cognitive functioning, positive, negative and disorganization symptoms, extrapyramidal symptoms, hostility, internalized stigma, and perceived discrimination). Bayesian network analysis was used to estimate a directed acyclic graph (DAG) while investigating the most likely direction of the putative causal association between insight and depression.
After adjusting for confounders, better levels of insight were associated with greater self-depreciation, pathological guilt, morning depression and suicidal ideation. No difference in global network structure was detected for socioeconomic status, service engagement or illness severity. The DAG confirmed the presence of an association between greater insight and self-depreciation, suggesting the more probable causal direction was from insight to depressive symptoms.
In schizophrenia, better levels of insight may cause self-depreciation and, possibly, other depressive symptoms. Person-centered and narrative psychotherapeutic approaches may be particularly fit to improve patient insight without dampening self-esteem.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorder (TD) represent highly disabling, chronic and often comorbid psychiatric conditions. While recent studies showed a high risk of suicide for patients with OCD, little is known about those patients with comorbid TD (OCTD). Aim of this study was to characterize suicidal behaviors among patients with OCD and OCTD.
Three hundred and thirteen outpatients with OCD (n = 157) and OCTD (n = 156) were recruited from nine different psychiatric Italian departments and assessed using an ad-hoc developed questionnaire investigating, among other domains, suicide attempt (SA) and ideation (SI). The sample was divided into four subgroups: OCD with SA (OCD-SA), OCD without SA (OCD-noSA), OCTD with SA (OCTD-SA), and OCTD without SA (OCTD-noSA).
No differences between groups were found in terms of SI, while SA rates were significantly higher in patients with OCTD compared to patients with OCD. OCTD-SA group showed a significant male prevalence and higher unemployment rates compared to OCD-SA and OCD-noSA sample. Both OCTD-groups showed an earlier age of psychiatric comorbidity onset (other than TD) compared to the OCD-SA sample. Moreover, patients with OCTD-SA showed higher rates of other psychiatric comorbidities and positive psychiatric family history compared to the OCD-SA group and to the OCD-noSA groups. OCTD-SA and OCD-SA samples showed higher rates of antipsychotics therapies and treatment resistance compared to OCD-noSA groups.
Patients with OCTD vs with OCD showed a significantly higher rate of SA with no differences in SI. In particular, OCTD-SA group showed different unfavorable epidemiological and clinical features which need to be confirmed in future prospective studies.
The aim of this naturalistic study was to investigate the possible influence of the duration of untreated illness (DUI) on the long-term course of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). One hundred and thirteen patients with recurrent MDD, according to DSM-IV-TR criteria, followed up for 5 years, were selected, interviewed and their clinical charts were reviewed. The DUI was defined as the interval between the onset of the first depressive episode and the first adequate antidepressant treatment. The sample was divided into two groups according to the DUI: one group with a DUI ≤ 12 months (n = 75), and the other with a DUI > 12 months (n = 38). The main demographic and clinical course variables were compared between the two groups using Student's t-tests or chi-square tests. Patients with a longer DUI showed an earlier age at onset (t = 2.82, p = 0.006) and a longer duration of illness (t = 3.20, p = 0.002) compared to patients with a shorter DUI. In addition, the total number of depressive episodes occurring before the first antidepressant treatment was higher in the group with a longer DUI (t = −2.223, p < 0.03). Even though limited by the retrospective nature of the study, these preliminary findings would suggest that a longer DUI may negatively influence the course of MDD. Larger prospective studies are warranted to further investigate the role of the DUI within MDD.
we aimed to compare socio-demographic and clinical differences between patients with versus without current RC in order to detect clinical factors that may favor early diagnosis and personalized treatment.
A total of 1675 patients (males: n = 714 and females: n = 961; bipolar 1: n = 1042 and bipolar 2: n = 633) from different psychiatric clinics were grouped and compared according to the current presence of RC in terms of socio-demographic and clinical variables. Chi-squared tests for qualitative variables and Student’s t tests for quantitative variables were executed for group comparison, and multivariable logistic regressions were performed, considering the current presence of RC as dependent variable, and socio-demographic/clinical factors as independent variables.
Female gender (male versus female: OR = 0.64, p = 0.04), unidentifiable prevalent polarity (versus depressive polarity: OR = 1.76, p = 0.02; versus manic polarity: OR: 2.86, p < 0.01) and hospitalization in the last year (no versus yes: OR = 0.63, p = 0.02) were found to be associated with RC in the final multivariable regression analysis.
RC in BD seems to be more prevalent in female gender and associated with some unfavorable clinical features, such as an increased risk of hospitalization. These aspects should be taken into account in the management and monitoring of RC versus non-RC patients.
Despite growing evidence in the field of cognitive function in mood disorders, the neurocognitive profiles of patients with unipolar and bipolar depression still need further characterization. In this study, we applied network analysis, hypothesizing this approach could highlight differences between major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD) from a cognitive perspective.
The cognitive performance of 109 patients (72 unipolar and 37 bipolar depressed outpatients) was assessed through the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and a series of clinical variables were collected. Differences in cognitive performance between MDD and BD patients were tested using non-parametric tests. Moreover, a network graph representing MoCA domains as nodes and Spearman’s rho correlation coefficients between the domains as edges was constructed for each group.
The presence of mild cognitive impairment was observed in both MDD and BD patients during depression. No statistical significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of overall cognitive performance and across single domains. Nonetheless, network analytic metrics demonstrated different roles of memory and executive dysfunction in MDD versus BD patients: in particular, MDD network was more densely interconnected than BD network, and memory was the node with the highest betweenness and closeness centrality in MDD, while executive function was more central in BD.
From a network analytic perspective, memory impairment displays a central role in the cognitive impairment of patients with unipolar depression, whereas executive dysfunction appears to be more central in bipolar depression. Further research is warranted to confirm our results.