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January2012 Vol.49 Issue:        1        Table of Contents
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Cortisol Level and Cognitive Changes in Patients with Major Depression-Psychotic versus Non-psychotic: An Egyptian Study

Samia Abd El-Rahman1, Mona Salem Khalil2, Aref Khoweiled1, Mohamed Ezzat Amin Arafa1

Departments of Psychiatry1, Chemical Pathology2, Cairo University, Egypt



Background: Significant differences between psychotic and non-psychotic major depression have been noted along many axes. Objective: To find out and assess the different cognitive deficits in major depressed patients psychotic and non-psychotic. Methods: A 40 patients aged 20-50 years diagnosed as major depressive disorder with psychotic features selected from the psychiatric outpatient clinic and 40 age matched patients, diagnosed as major depressive disorder without psychotic features according to the DSM-IV TR. All patients were subjected to the following procedures: 1-Full clinical psychiatric sheet. 2-HRSD. 3-WAIS-R. 4-WCST. 5-Cortisol level at 8.00 am and at 8.00 pm in the same day.  Results: There was a statistically significant difference in level of cortisol at both am and pm and there was a significant difference between both groups regarding the percentage of change of cortisol level during the day. There was no statistical significant difference between both groups as regard HRSD, however there was a significant difference on a number of cognitive abilities, verbal and performance IQ, and deterioration index. Conclusions: Cognitive deficits showed qualitative and quantitative differences as well as different correlation with cortisol levels and percent of change over a day. [Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg.  2012; 49(1): 13-22]


Key Words: Psychotic major depression, Non-psychotic major depression, Cortisol level, Cognitive functions, Executive functions.


Correspondence to Mohamed Ezzat Amin Arafa, Department of Psychiatry, Cairo University, Egypt.

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