Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the most common psychiatric disease, affecting millions of people worldwide. In addition to the well-defined depressive symptoms, patients suffering from MDD consistently complain about cognitive disturbances, significantly exacerbating the burden of this illness. Among cognitive symptoms, impairments in attention, working memory, learning and memory or executive functions are often reported. However, available data about the heterogeneity of MDD patients and magnitude of cognitive symptoms through the different phases of MDD remain difficult to summarize. Thus, the first part of this review briefly overviewed clinical studies, focusing on the cognitive dysfunctions depending on the MDD type. As animal models are essential translational tools for underpinning the mechanisms of cognitive deficits in MDD, the second part of this review synthetized preclinical studies observing cognitive deficits in different rodent models of anxiety/depression. For each cognitive domain, we determined whether deficits could be shared across models. Particularly, we established whether specific stress-related procedures or unspecific criteria (such as species, sex or age) could segregate common cognitive alteration across models. Finally, the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents in cognitive dysfunctions during MDD state was also discussed.
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