How does depression affect our memory?

How does depression affect our memory?

In January 2024, the B2V Observatory of Memories looked at the links between memory and depression and attempted to clarify certain questions on this subject.

Can memory be repaired once the episode of depression is over? Do we already have enough perspective to know the impact of the pandemic on our brain? In a press release published by the B2V Observatory of Memories, Francis Eustache, Neuropsychologist and President of the Scientific Council of the B2V Observatory of Memoirs, as well as Catherine Thomas-Antérion, Neurologist, Doctor in neuropsychology and member of the Scientific Council of the Observatory B2V Memoirs provide food for thought.

Can depression cause memory loss?

Let's first try to define what depression is. According to the B2V Observatory of Memories, depression is a generic term which brings together very different situations. The episode may be unique or recurrent throughout life. The individual can be young or old, and be affected, among other things, by a sad mood, a loss of interests and a reduction in vitality.

According to experts, although depression is not a memory disease, it can change memory function, interfere with concentration and lead to ideomotor slowing. “The depressive has difficulty remembering information spontaneously., it is reported in the press release. Another parameter is frequently mentioned by people suffering from depression. It is about the perception of time, in particular the projection into the future, “with the impression of time accelerating”.

How does depression change our brain?

Neuroscience research has made it possible to measure certain variations in metabolism, by observing different regions of the brain responsible for attention, concentration, working memory and processing speed. However, although imaging examinations are relevant for Alzheimer's disease, they are of no real use in monitoring a depressive. The variations are not very significant.

“Depression is cured, the functioning of memory is restored (such as sleep, appetite etc.) but there may remain a paucity of biographical memories collected during this period with an excess of sad memories”concludes the press release from the B2V Observatory of Memoirs.