New tool delivers swifter picture of cognitive deficit

December 11, 2018

A new tool, developed by researchers from the University of Adelaide, will assist clinicians to assess people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD).

The THINC-integrated tool (THINC-it) digital software tool, developed by researchers from the University of Adelaide's Discipline of Psychiatry, evaluates the cognitive functions of severely depressed people. The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry assessed the new tool's effectiveness in checking the cognitive function of 127 life-long sufferers of MDD.

"People suffering from major depressive disorder frequently experience cognitive dysfunction, which reduces their ability to think clearly, concentrate and remember important information," says Matthew Knight, Research Officer from the Discipline of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide and one of the team who carried out the research.

"Cognitive difficulties associated with MDD can lead to people having problems coping with daily life. This can adversely affect their work life, their personal relationships, and reduce their quality of life in general.

"THINC-it assists clinicians in tailoring plans to treat patients' cognitive deficits and will enhance the precision of treatment for people suffering from severe depression," says Mr Knight.

Major depressive disorder affects 2.1 million people a year in Australia and over 300 million globally. It places a major burden on clinicians and frequently sufferers cope with functional disability for many years.

THINC-it can be downloaded by clinicians who use it to carry out four objective tests on their patients, and one in which the patient measures their own cognitive problems experienced in their daily life. The software is self-instructed, can be completed in 10 to 15 minutes, automatically generates a report of the patient's cognitive function, and identifies any areas where cognitive deficits are present.

"Existing cognitive screening tools are more time consuming and costly than THINC-it and place significant administrative burden on the psychiatrist or interviewer," says Professor Bernard Baune, Head of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide.

"It is very important to identify cognitive deficits in patients with major depressive disorders so that these patients can receive treatments specifically designed to address their cognitive and functional symptoms.

"Assessing the cognitive impairment of people suffering from MDD is particularly important for individuals whose occupational functioning is being affected.

"Results from this research show that THINC-it swiftly provides an accurate measure of patients' cognitive difficulties and the associated functional impairments," says Professor Baune.
-end-


University of Adelaide

Related Cognitive Function Articles from Brightsurf:

Anxious, moody older adults are vulnerable to worse cognitive function
Some older adults with the neuropathology that causes dementia have more cognitive resilience than others, reports a new study.

New hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol can improve cognitive function of older adults
The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center, together with the Sackler School of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, announced today that a peer-reviewed study has demonstrated for the first time that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can significantly enhance the cognitive performance of healthy older adults.

Examining association between low to moderate drinking, cognitive function in adults
The association between low to moderate alcohol drinking and the rate of age-related decline in cognitive function from middle to older age was investigated in a nationally representative sample of US adults.

Childhood exposure to parental smoking linked to poorer cognitive function in midlife
A Finnish study coordinated by the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku, Finland, shows that exposure to parental smoking in childhood and adolescence is associated with poorer learning ability and memory in midlife.

Diet may help preserve cognitive function
According to a recent analysis of data from two major eye disease studies, adherence to the Mediterranean diet - high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil -- correlates with higher cognitive function.

Better controlled diabetes is associated with preserved cognitive function after stroke
Better glucose control can help people with diabetes who have a common type of stroke to preserve their cognitive function, according to a study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting.

Neighborhood features and one's genetic makeup interact to affect cognitive function
Few studies have examined how the neighborhood's physical environment relates to cognition in older adults.

Does abdominal fat affect the cognitive function of older adults with diabetes?
Higher levels of abdominal fat were linked with reduced cognitive function in a Clinical Obesity study of older Asians with type 2 diabetes -- even in individuals with normal weight.

University of Miami study explores cognitive function in people with mental illness
A study funded by the Veterans Administration and directed by researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has shown few differences in the profiles of genes that influence cognition between people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and the general population.

Hydration may affect cognitive function in some older adults
Among women, lower hydration levels were associated with lower scores on a task designed to measure motor speed, sustained attention, and working memory.

Read More: Cognitive Function News and Cognitive Function Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.