Effects of antidepressants on cognitive
functioning of elderly patients. A review

by
Knegtering H, Eijck M, Huijsman A
Department of Psychiatry,
University Hospital Groningen,
The Netherlands.
Drugs Aging 1994 Sep; 5(3):192-9


ABSTRACT

The influence of antidepressants on cognitive performance in elderly patients has been investigated in 18 studies. More than 70 different psychological tests or batteries of tests could be identified in these studies. The tentative conclusions that can be drawn are as follows. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors hardly influence cognitive performance. Amitriptyline, dothiepin, mianserin and trazodone impair attention and ability to concentrate. Drugs with anticholinergic properties, such as nortriptyline, maprotiline and amitriptyline, might impair aspects of memory. For nortriptyline, higher plasma concentrations correlate with greater cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment induced by nortriptyline during treatment might not be a transient effect, but may last as long as treatment continues. Data regarding the effects of selective serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) reuptake inhibitors on cognitive performance in the elderly indicate no detrimental effect. A consensus on the use of instruments evaluating cognitive performance is needed to allow better comparison of future studies. As these conclusions can only be provisional, more study is needed.
TCAs
SSRIs
MAOIs
Options
Dothiepin
Mianserin
Deliriants
Trazodone
Smart drugs
Acetylcholine
Adverse reactions
Retarded depression
Muscarinic antagonists
Scopolamine: structure
The serotonin syndrome
Selectivity or multiplicity?
Nootropics ('smart drugs')
Antidepressants: adverse effects
Depression, decline and dementia
Antidepressant behavioral toxicity
Tricyclic antidepressants for depression
Scopolamine as an anxiolytic antidepressant


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