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Neuropsychological dysfunction, soft neurological signs and social disability in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Utpal Goswami, Dr Aditya SharmaORCiD, Emeritus Professor Nicol Ferrier, Professor Allan Young, Dr Peter GallagherORCiD, Jill Thompson, Dr Brian Moore


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Background: Neurocognitive deficits exist in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder, but relationships between symptoms, psychosocial and neurological factors remain uncertain. Aims: To measure neurocognitive function in bipolar disorder and explore links to sub-syndromal mood symptoms, soft neurological signs and psychosocial impairment. Method Attention, memory and executive function were tested in 37 euthymic patients with bipolar disorder and 37 controls. Psychosocial functioning, soft neurological signs and residual mood symptoms were assessed. Results: Performances on tests reflecting executive function and verbal memory (but not attention) were significantly poorer in the bipolar disorder group. Sub-syndromal mood symptoms produced small cognitive effects, predominantly on verbal memory. Soft neurological signs, especially frontal signs, were marked; some patients showed marked social disability which correlated strongly with soft neurological signs but weakly with executive dysfunction, which was linked to illness episodes. Conclusions: Cognitive dysfunction, social dysfunction and soft signs occur in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder and may represent trait deficits.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Goswami U, Sharma A, Khastigir U, Ferrier IN, Young AH, Gallagher P, Thompson JM, Moore PB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry

Year: 2006

Volume: 188

Issue: 4

Pages: 366-373

ISSN (print): 0007-1250

ISSN (electronic): 1472-1465

Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists


DOI: 10.1192/bjp.188.4.366

PubMed id: 16582064


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