- Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with short-term benzodiazepines and antidepressants (ADs) had no decline in cognitive function and even reported faster information processing speed than patients treated with ADs alone.
Why this matters
- Prior studies had suggested long-term or high-dose benzodiazepine use impaired cognitive function in patients with MDD.
- 353 patients with MDD received selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) alone and 49 patients were treated with SSRIs plus short-term benzodiazepines.
- Funding: National Key Basic Research Program of China.
- Information processing speed (measured by Digit Symbol Coding Test) was higher in the patients treated with benzodiazepines plus ADs vs those who received ADs alone at week 8 (OR, 1.052; 95% CI, 1.000-1.105).
- No change was observed in verbal learning, visual learning, executive function, and attention/vigilance at week 8 between groups.
- Lack of control group.
- Small number of patients in the benzodiazepines group restricted subgroup analysis.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD