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Bipolar Disord. 2010 Mar;12(2):213-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2010.00792.x.

Enhanced working and verbal memory after lamotrigine treatment in pediatric bipolar disorder.

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Center for Cognitive Medicine, University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.



To examine the treatment impact of lamotrigine on the neurocognitive profile of patients with pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD).


Healthy controls (HC) (n = 24; mean age = 12.4 +/- 3.3 years) and unmedicated PBD patients with manic, mixed, or hypomanic episodes (n = 34; mean age = 13 +/- 3.1 years) were matched for IQ, age, sex, race, and socioeconomic status. A neurocognitive battery was administered at baseline and again after 14 weeks, during which PBD patients were treated with lamotrigine.


Clinical symptoms improved with treatment in the patient group with significant change from baseline to follow-up on the Young Mania Rating Scale (p < 0.001) and the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (p < 0.001). Global neurocognitive function improved with lamotrigine in PBD patients over time relative to that in HC, although overall performance remained impaired. Working memory and verbal memory significantly improved with treatment in patients, and deficits in these domains were no longer significantly impaired relative to HC at follow-up. Executive function significantly improved with treatment in the patient group but still lagged behind HC at follow-up. Performance on attention tests did not improve with treatment.


There appears to be significant improvement in cognitive abilities in PBD patients treated with lamotrigine that is most prominent in the areas of working memory and verbal memory and that occurs along with mood stabilization.


attention; bipolar; cognition; executive functioning; lamotrigine; verbal memory; working memory

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