Effects of depression and antidepressant use on cognitive deficits and functional cognition following severe traumatic brain injury

Michelle D. Failla, Shannon B. Juengst, Kristin M. Graham, Patricia M. Arenth, Amy K. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To use a Rehabilomics framework to evaluate relations hips between post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) depression (PTD) and potential associated factors, including antidepressant use, on cognitive recovery following severe TBI. Participants: Severe TBI survivors (n = 154), recruited from a level 1 trauma center. Design: Prospective cohort study with assessments at 6 and 12 months postinjury. Main Measures: Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PTD symptoms); cognitive composite score from a neuropsychological assessment battery (cognitive impairment); and Functional Independence Measure-Cognition (FIM-Cog, self-reported functional cognition). Results: Individuals with and without PTD did not differ with respect to cognitive impairment. However, antidepressant use, regardless of PTD status, was associated with cognitive impairment. Individuals with PTD reported lower FIM-Cog scores at both time points compared with those without PTD. In a post hoc longitudinal analysis, individuals with late-onset PTD had worse cognitive impairment. Conclusion: These results suggest that antidepressant use impairs cognition among individuals without PTD. Also, PTD did not directly affect cognitive impairment but may affect functional cognitive limitations through self-evaluation and apathy/motivation factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E62-E73
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 13 2016



  • Antidepressants
  • Cognition
  • Depression
  • International classification of functioning
  • Rehabilomics
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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