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Neuropsychological effects of escitalopram treatment in middle-aged women


This study assessed mood and neuropsychological changes in a population of middle-aged depressed women treated with escitalopram.

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18 women between the ages of 45–65 with a DSM-IV diagnosis of major depression were consecutively enrolled in the study at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. All women were treated with escitalopram in an open label design. Women were recruited from the community. All but three were Caucasian. Mean age was 55.94 and mean number of years of education was 16.36. Mood and cognition were assessed at baseline and 3-months post-treatment. Mood was assessed with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD). The neuropsychological battery included the Wechsler Memory Scale-Third Edition (WMS-III), Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, and Trail Making Test Parts A and B.


Statistically significant differences (improvements) were found in total HRSD score (95% CI, p < 0.000), HRSD endogenous symptoms (95% CI, p < 0.000), WMS-III Logical Memory II total score (95% CI, p = 0.003), WMS-III Visual Reproduction I total score (95% CI, p = 0.025), and Trails B (95% CI, p = 0.017).


Treatment of depression with escitalopram in a population of middle aged women was shown to improve mood and cognitive efficiency in select cognitive domains.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Rasgon, A., Zappert, L., Wroolie, T. et al. Neuropsychological effects of escitalopram treatment in middle-aged women. Ann Gen Psychiatry 5 (Suppl 1), S188 (2006).

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