Sertraline improves executive function in patients with vascular cognitive impairment
The authors reviewed 35 open-label sertraline trials for executive impairment in ischemic cerebrovascular disease. Outcomes included clock-drawing, the Executive Interview (EXIT25), the Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Mini-Mental State Examination. Clinically "meaningful" improvement was defined as a >3.0 EXIT25 point decline from baseline. "Remission" was defined as the achievement of an EXIT25 score <15/50. Only EXIT25 scores improved significantly. Twenty patients (57.1%) experienced a clinically meaningful improvement in executive control function. Twelve (34.3%) achieved remission. Our findings suggest that sertraline may have both statistical and clinically meaningful effects on executive control function in ischemic cerebrovascular disease. The authors discuss the implications for future clinical trials.