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Bipolar Disord. 2008 Mar;10(2):245-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2007.00492.x.

Neurocognitive profiles in bipolar I and bipolar II disorder: differences in pattern and magnitude of dysfunction.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Ulleval University Hospital, and Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. c.e.simonsen@medisin.uio.no

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Studies on neurocognitive functioning in bipolar disorder, reporting deficits in memory, attention, and executive functioning, have primarily focused on bipolar I disorder. The aim of this study was to examine whether patients with bipolar I and bipolar II disorder have different neurocognitive profiles.

METHODS:

Forty-two patients with bipolar I disorder, 31 patients with bipolar II and 124 healthy controls, from a large ongoing study on psychotic disorders, were included. Neurocognitive function was measured with a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery.

RESULTS:

The bipolar I group performed significantly poorer than the healthy control group and the bipolar II group on all measures of memory. Compared with the control group, the bipolar I group also had significantly reduced performance on most measures of attention and executive functioning, while the bipolar II group only had a significantly reduced performance on a subset of these measures. On average, 24% of the bipolar I group had clinically significant cognitive impairment (< or =1.5 SD below the control group mean) across measures, compared with 13% of the bipolar II group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with bipolar I and bipolar II disorder in this study have different neurocognitive profiles. Bipolar I patients have more widespread cognitive dysfunction both in pattern and magnitude, and a higher proportion has clinically significant cognitive impairments compared with patients with bipolar II. This may suggest neurobiological differences between the two bipolar subgroups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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