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Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Apr;188:366-73.

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

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1
Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
16582064
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.188.4.366
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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