Cognitive effects of antidepressant buoy Lundbeck

Lundbeck has risen to a two-year high on the markets after announcing the cognitive results of a trial of its antidepressant vortioxetine (Brintellix), approved for use in the US in September against major depressive disorder.

The study ( was presented at this week’s annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and showed improvement in measures of cognitive effects such as executive function, attention, speed of processing and memory, Lundbeck, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based company said.

Cognitive impairments have been found to be separate from the widely known mood and physical effects of depression in the sense that treatment effective against these “is not followed by improvement in daily life functioning“, the company said in a statement.

The FOCUS study compared vortioxetine 10 mg and 20 mg with placebo for the treatment of acute episodes of major depression.

There were improvements in depressive symptoms, and the improvement in cognitive performance was “shown to include a direct effect” of vortioxetine and was not “solely due to improvement in depressive symptoms“.

In addition to the emotional symptoms of major depression, people with depression may also frequently experience a range of cognitive symptoms, including an impaired ability to think, concentrate or make decisions that can affect work, school and family life.

“Neuropsychological tests are powerful indicators of cognitive function but are not routinely used in everyday, busy clinical practice, so it was equally important to understand how patients reported changes in cognitive symptoms that they experienced.

“We are encouraged that Brintellix not only showed benefits in cognitive function in patients with major depression, based on the neuropsychological tests, but that patients themselves also reported noticeable improvements in their cognitive symptoms.”

Dr Roger McIntyre, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology, University of Toronto (in a Lundbeck statement)


Related news:

Lundbeck rises to 2-year high after cognition study results (Bloomberg)

Reference links:

New study showed improvement in cognitive performance in adult patients treated with Brintellix (vortioxetine) for acute episodes of major depression (Lundbeck press release)

Vortioxetine: first global approval (Drugs, 2013, December 6th).

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