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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2008 September;49(3):217-34

language: English

Cognitive function and bipolar disorders

Torrent C., Martinez-Arán A., Daban C., Reinares M., Bonnin C. M., Vieta E.

Clinical Institute of Neuroscience Hospital Clinic IDIBAPS, CIBERSAM University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain


Cognitive impairment has been documented in a variety of neuropsychological domains during the major mood disturbances associated with the acute episodes of bipolar disorder as well as many studies have shown that sufferers of bipolar disorder continue to exhibit cognitive impairment after the resolution of major mood symptoms. The significance of these cognitive deficits is unknown, although it has been suggested that they may impact negatively on social functioning and be at least partially responsible for the poor rate of interepisode functional recovery seen in a high proportion of patients or the poor response to the treatment. Although neurocognitive impairment have increasingly been documented in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder, particularly in the domains of attention, executive processing and declarative memory some neuropsychological findings have been not consistent, some have been compromised by the heterogeneous clinical groups, the effects of medications, the influence of residual mood symptoms during testing and the different methods of assessment. It is important to seek consensus for designing neuropsychological batteries to facilitate the early diagnosis of deficits, to assess the impact of cognitive dysfunction on patient’s daily functioning, and to attempt to integrate future therapeutic approaches for bipolar disorder that comtemplate neurocognitive rehabilitation.

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