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BACKGROUND: The preclinical and clinical data regarding the efficacy of metformin as a pro-cognitive and anti-depressant therapy is mixed. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of metformin on cognition and depressive symptoms. METHODS: The study was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO identifier: CRD42020184547). PubMed and Web of Science were searched (inception through to May 6, 2020) for trials which measured the effects (change from baseline to end-of-treatment) of metformin on cognition and depressive symptoms, compared to either placebo or other oral antidiabetic therapies. When feasible, pooled meta-analytic estimates were provided using a random-effects model. RESULTS: Eight studies met the inclusion criteria: four assessed only cognition, three assessed only depressive symptoms, and one study assessed both cognition and depressive symptoms. Results suggested that metformin was significantly superior to placebo in improving cognitive function in patients suffering with clinical conditions associated with cognitive impairment (SMD: 0.80; 95%CI: 0.46 to 1.15; p 

Original publication




Journal article


J Affect Disord

Publication Date





52 - 59


Anti-diabetic therapy, Clinical therapeutics, Cognition, Depression, Metformin, Cognition, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Humans, Hypoglycemic Agents, Metformin, Pioglitazone, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic