Grip Strength Indicative of Cognition in Major Depression

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In those with major depression, there were significant positive associations between maximal handgrip strength and improved performance on all 5 cognitive tasks.
In those with major depression, there were significant positive associations between maximal handgrip strength and improved performance on all 5 cognitive tasks.

HealthDay News — For individuals with major depression and bipolar disorder, grip strength is positively associated with cognition, according to a study published online April 18 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Joseph Firth, Ph.D., from the University of Western Sydney, and colleagues conducted a population-based study to examine the correlation between maximal handgrip strength and cognitive performance among individuals with major depression or bipolar disorder and healthy controls. Baseline data from 110,067 participants in the U.K Biobank were included; analyses included 22,699 individuals with major depression, 1,475 with bipolar disorder, and 85,893 healthy controls.

The researchers found that in those with major depression, there were significant positive associations between maximal handgrip strength and improved performance on all five cognitive tasks: visual memory, reaction time, reasoning, number memory, and prospective memory. The results were similar in healthy controls. Handgrip strength was positively associated with improved visual memory, reaction time, prospective memory, and reasoning among individuals with bipolar disorder.

"Grip strength may provide a useful indicator of cognitive impairment in people with major depression and bipolar disorder," the authors write.

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