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Ji-Young You, Jung-Ah Min, Yang-Whan Jeon, Sang-Ick Han and E-Jin Park
Objectives: Although forgetfulness is a common complaint among depressed menopausal women, there remains debate on the relationship between memory impairment and menopause. The aim of this study was to examine whether menopause is related to cognitive decline among women with depressive disorders. We hypothesized that postmenopausal depressed woman would show generally poorer performance than premenopausal depressed women on various cognitive function tests
Methods: Using a retrospective chart review, we identified a total of 87 female patients (45 premenopausal patients and 42 postmenopausal patients) who were hospitalized with depressive disorders from 2000 to 2016. Demographic and clinical variables and cognitive test results were compared between the two groups.
Results: Years of education was greater in the premenopausal group as compared to the postmenopausal group, whereas clinical characteristics (illness duration, recurrence, and symptom severity) and mean IQ were similar between the two groups. The postmenopausal group had longer reaction times for Bender-Gestalt test recall and Trail-Making Test A and B. After controlling for age and education, there was a significant difference in Bender-Gestalt test recall (p=0.029).
Conclusion: The postmenopausal state may be related to decline of visuo-spatial memory function, in particular, among depressed female patients. Other areas of cognitive function including complex attention, verbal memory, auditory memory, working memory might be interpreted with consideration to age and education level.