- Patients with depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) show steady cognitive decline after 8 wk of treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
- Prospective study.
- 50 patients (half diagnosed with depression, half diagnosed with OCD) with no history of SSRI treatment.
- 52% of patients were prescribed paroxetine (Paxil), 28% sertraline (Zoloft), 12% fluoxetine (Prozac), and 8% citalopram (Celexa).
- Patients completed the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) at weeks 0, 3, 5, and 8.
- Funding: Not disclosed.
- Baseline mean MMSE score for entire cohort was 23.94.
- MMSE scores declined steadily between weeks 3, 5, and 8 (22.1, 21.4, 20.66, respectively; overall P<.0001).
- No link between MMSE score and age (P=.12) or education level (P=.14).
- Small patient sample with no long-term follow-up.
- Effect of disease on cognitive function was not studied.
Why this matters
- Studies on the effect of SSRIs on cognition have yielded conflicting results.