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Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Aug 15;46(4):525-31.

Declarative and procedural memory in bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021, USA.



Memory function is an important but under researched area for neuropsychological investigation in persons with bipolar disorder. Previous studies have reported cognitive deficits on tasks of declarative memory in bipolar patients in the euthymic state.


This study extended these findings by investigating declarative as well as procedural learning and memory in bipolar patients (with and without alcohol abuse) who were examined in the euthymic state. The California Verbal Learning Test, Star Mirror Tracing Task, Pursuit Rotor Task, American National Adult Reading Test, and the Vocabulary Subtest of the WAIS-R, were administered to bipolar patients and control subjects by researchers who were blind to the subject's group.


Bipolar patients performed worse than control subjects on a measure of declarative memory (California Verbal Learning Test) but did not differ from the performance of control subjects on either of the two procedural learning tasks (Pursuit Rotor Task and Star Mirror Task).


These results suggest disturbed function of temporal lobe, but not basal ganglia, structures in persons with bipolar disorder.

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