Psych Matters

Cognitive Impairment of Mood Disorders

July 07, 2023 RANZCP
Psych Matters
Cognitive Impairment of Mood Disorders
Show Notes

Cognitive impairment is a core feature of mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder) and is evident across a range of domains (memory, executive function, attention, processing speed). Research shows that cognitive impairment persists into recovery and relates to problems in occupational and psychosocial functioning. International task forces have thus identified cognition as an important treatment target in mood disorders, in attempting to improve overall recovery for people with mood disorders. 

This podcast covers the importance of clinicians considering cognitive functioning in individuals with mood disorders, as well as practical strategies for assessing and treating cognitive problems. 

Further References:

  • Cognition in Bipolar Disorder’ -
  • Douglas KM, Peckham A, Porter R, Hammar A. Cognitive enhancement therapy for mood disorders: A new paradigm? Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2019 Dec;53(12):1148-1150. doi: 10.1177/0004867419873711. Epub 2019 Sep 13. PMID: 31516027; PMCID: PMC7290243.

Dr Katie Douglas is a Senior Research Fellow (Sir Charles Hercus Fellow) and Clinical Psychologist at the Department of Psychological Medicine (University of Otago, Christchurch, NZ). Her research work focuses on understanding the cognitive and hormonal underpinnings of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as clinical trials investigating psychotherapies and cognitive remediation for mood disorders. She co-chairs the Australasian Society of Bipolar and Depressive Disorders and is Associate Editor of BJPsych Open.

Prof Richard Porter is head of the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch and a Consultant Psychiatrist in a service for adults with intellectual disability. He also works in an ECT service and sees many patients with treatment resistant mood disorder. He trained in psychiatry in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne where his clinical training focussed on the treatment of resistant mood disorders. Recently his research has focused on psychological treatments for mood disorders including treatments for neuropsychological impairment in depression and bipolar disorder. He has published over 200 scientific papers mainly in the area of cognition in mood disorders. He is an author of the recent Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Mood Disorder Guidelines.

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