BACKGROUND: Dementia and depression are increasingly common worldwide, and their effective control could ease the burden on economies, public health systems, and support networks. Vortioxetine is a new antidepressant with multipharmacologic actions that elevate the concentration of serotonin and modulate multiple neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. We conducted a meta-analysis to explore whether the cognitive function of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with vortioxetine would improve. METHODS: We systematically reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases to assess the treatment effects of vortioxetine on the cognitive function of patients with MDD. The outcome measures included the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), Perceived Deficits Questionnaire (PDQ), and Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores. Pooled results were calculated using a fixed-effects or random-effects model according to the heterogeneity of the included trials. RESULTS: Six RCTs with a total of 1782 patients were included in the meta-analysis, which demonstrated that vortioxetine improved DSST, PDQ, and MADRS scores in patients with MDD. The results were consistent at the 10- and 20-mg doses. In the 20-mg group, the decrease in MADRS scores was more significant than that in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: Both the 10- and 20-mg doses of vortioxetine can significantly increase DSST scores and decrease PDQ and MADRS scores in patients with MDD and cognitive dysfunction, but further studies with longer follow-up periods to assess mental function are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-978
Number of pages10
JournalThe international journal of neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 12 2022


  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Digit Symbol Substitution Test
  • executive function in major depressive disorder
  • Perceived Deficits Questionnaire
  • vortioxetine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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