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Neurocognitive impairment in euthymic patients with bipolar affective disorder

Lookup NU author(s): Jill Thompson, Dr Peter GallagherORCiD, Dr Stuart Watson, Dr John Gray, Emeritus Professor Nicol Ferrier, Professor Allan Young


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Background: Persistent impairments in neurocognitive function have been described in patients with bipolar disorder whose disease is in remission. However, methodological issues such as the effect of residual mood symptoms and hypercortisolaemia may confound such studies. Aims: To assess neurocognitive functioning in prospectively verified euthymic patients with bipolar disorder. Method: Sixty-three patients with bipolar disorder and a matched control group completed a comprehensive neurocognitive test battery. Euthymia was confirmed in the patient group by prospective clinical ratings over I month prior to testing. Saliva samples were collected to profile basal cortisol secretion. Results: Patients were significantly impaired across a broad range of cognitive domains. Across the domains tested, clinically significant impairment was observed in 3% to 42% of patients. Deficits were not causally associated with residual mood symptoms or hypercortisolaemia. Conclusions: Neurocognitive impairment persists in patients whose bipolar disorder is in remission. This may represent a trait abnormality and be a marker of underlying neurobiological dysfunction.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thompson JM, Gallagher P, Hughes JH, Watson S, Gray JM, Ferrier IN, Young AH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry

Year: 2005

Volume: 186

Pages: 32-40

Print publication date: 01/01/2005

ISSN (print): 0007-1250

ISSN (electronic): 1472-1465

Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists


DOI: 10.1192/bjp.186.1.32

PubMed id: 15630121


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