Time Course Of Prefrontal Lobe Dysfunction In Severely Depressed In-patients: A Longitudinal Neuropsychological Study
The Stroop Colour-Word Test (SCWT) and the Verbal Fluency Test (VFT), two tests that have been suggested to be particularly sensitive to prefrontal dysfunction, were administered to 23 severely depressed in-patients. Both tests were impaired in patients at inclusion, but only verbal fluency normalized with successful treatment of depression. VFT impairment is consistent with the hypothesis of a left prefrontal cortex dysfunction in depression. Moreover, the persistence of an impaired performance on SCWT in patients at discharge suggests that a selective attention deficit may persist in patients beyond a clear clinical improvement.