Background The MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) was developed for schizophrenia patients, but is also being used to assess neurocognitive function in bipolar disorder. This study aims to describe neurocognitive differences in major depressive disorder patients and healthy controls with the MCCB, and to describe the relationship between depression symptom severity, subjective cognitive complaints, and objective cognitive test performance. Methods Thirty-three patients with major depressive disorder and 33 pairwise matched healthy controls were assessed with the MCCB. The patients were also assessed with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Everyday Memory Questionnaire (EMQ). Results On all neurocognitive domains, the depression patients scored significantly lower than the controls. The level of impairment ranged from 21.0 % (Working Memory) to 58.0 % (Speed of Processing). There were significant associations between neurocognitive test performance and depression symptom severity, but not with subjective cognitive complaints. Conclusions The MCCB was applicable in this study of major depressive disorder, and revealed significant neurocognitive dysfunction in this group. At least one fifth of the patients were impaired on all cognitive domains, with Speed of Processing and Reasoning/Problem Solving being most strongly affected. The objective test scores were significantly related to depression severity, but not to subjective cognitive complaints.
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