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Poster D43

Pervasive impairments on hippocampus-dependent memory tasks in major depressive disorder: Role of memory, executive function, and subfield integrity

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Nardeen Yalda1,2, Mahdieh Varvani Farahani1,2,3, Georgia Gopinath1, Darren Liang4, Lena Palaniyappan2,3,5, Amer M. Burhan6,8, Brian Levine7,9, Ali Khan1,2,3, Stefan Kohler1,2,9; 1Western University, 2Western Institute for Neuroscience, 3Robarts Research Institute, 4Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 5Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 6Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 7Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 8Ontario Shores for Mental Health Research, 9Rotman Research Institute

Previous research suggests that individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) demonstrate hippocampal (HPC) abnormalities at the level of structure and function, including episodic memory. More recently, there have also been demonstrations of HPC subfield-specific atrophy, generally in CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus subregions. Typically, abnormalities in subfield-structure and function have been examined in isolation. In the present study, we tested performance on hippocampus-dependent memory tasks alongside subfield-specific integrity of HPC structure in a sample of patients (N = 24) with clinically diagnosed treatment-resistant depression. Assessments included behavioral pattern separation, pattern completion, autobiographical memory, memory for face-name associations, and neuropsychological tests of executive functioning, in combination with surface-based estimation of subfield-specific atrophy derived from high-resolution structural MRI. As compared to matched control participants (N = 20), patients exhibited impaired recall from episodic autobiographical memory, irrespective of the age of memories. Patients also demonstrated impaired recognition performance on tests of pattern separation, face-name associations, and pattern completion. These behavioural deficits in patients were observed alongside significantly reduced volume in the left dentate gyrus, left CA3, and right CA1 regions. MDD often also results in impairments in executive control, which can influence memory performance. In the present sample, neuropsychological markers of executive-function were positively related to discrimination performance for previously learned items and associations across several tasks. Our findings reveal pervasive impairments on tasks tapping into multiple functions that depend on HPC integrity. They also highlight a role for executive function deficits on tasks that are typically considered HPC-dependent.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024