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Approved Research

Neurocognition and brain function and structure in remitted depression

Principal Investigator: Dr Angharad de Cates
Approved Research ID: 88504
Approval date: January 18th 2023

Lay summary

People who have had depression in the past are more likely to have difficulties with thinking, memory and judgement even after they have recovered. They also seem to show differences in the connections between different brain regions. We believe that these two facts may be connected, but we do not know this for certain.

This study aims to examine these factors in the large UK Biobank.

We will consider whether those who have more thinking problems and poorer brain region connectivity are more likely to have other problems, such as more episodes of depression or have more problems with employment. We may also look at whether other factors are important such as age, sex, time since depression, medication, genetics, the use of legal and illegal substances.

Our purpose is to see if we can identify a group of people who thinking problems after recovering from depression in the past who are more likely to be high risk. By high risk, we mean that they may be more likely to have further episodes of depression and be more likely to have problems socially, such as with employment. Our reasoning for this is to be able to target treatment to improve thinking at this high risk group to improve their longer-term outcomes, and so reduce their risk of problems in the future.

We will also aim to examine how these findings compare to those with symptoms of current mental illness, such as those with depression or schizophrenia.