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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Feb;200(2):135-41. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182438eae.

Social cognition and global functioning in bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Principe de Asturias University Hospital, University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain.


The purpose of this study was to assess the role of social cognition, together with other relevant clinical variables and measures of general cognition, in the global functioning of euthymic bipolar patients. Thirty-nine euthymic outpatients fulfilling DSM-IV-TR criteria for bipolar disorder type I or II were recruited and were divided in two groups: high (n = 19) and low (n = 20) global functioning. Both groups' performance was compared in verbal and nonverbal social cognition (Faux pas test and Facial Emotion Recognition test), sustained attention and executive function. The low-functioning group showed a significant impairment in both verbal and nonverbal measurements of social cognition compared with the high-functioning group. Globally, both bipolar groups showed a significant impairment in facial emotion recognition compared with a similar sample of healthy volunteers. Social cognition may play a significant role in the clinical-functional gap of bipolar patients.

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