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Cognitive Functioning in Clinically Stable Patients with Bipolar Disorder I and II

Journal article
Authors Timea Sparding
Katja Silander
Erik Pålsson
Josefin Östlind
C. Sellgren
C. J. Ekman
Erik Joas
Stefan Hansen
Mikael Landén
Published in Plos One
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages e0115562
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Department of Psychology
Pages e0115562
Language en
Subject categories Neuroscience


Objectives Bipolar disorder is accompanied by cognitive impairments, which persists during euthymic phases. The purpose of the present study was to identify those neuropsychological tests that most reliably tell euthymic bipolar patients and controls apart, and to clarify the extent to which these cognitive impairments are clinically significant as judged from neuropsychological norms. Patients with bipolar disorder (type I: n = 64; type II: n = 44) and controls (n = 86) were examined with a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery yielding 47 measures of executive functioning, speed, memory, and verbal skills. Multivariate analysis was used to build a model of cognitive performance with the ability to expose underlying trends in data and to reveal cognitive differences between patients and controls. Patients with bipolar disorder and controls were partially separated by one predictive component of cognitive performance. Additionally, the relative relevance of each cognitive measure for such separation was decided. Cognitive tests measuring set shifting, inhibition, fluency, and searching (e.g., Trail Making Test, Color-Word) had strongest discriminating ability and most reliably detected cognitive impairments in the patient group. Both bipolar disorder type I and type II were associated with cognitive impairment that for a sizeable minority is significant in a clinical neuropsychological sense. We demonstrate a combination of neuropsychological tests that reliably detect cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder.

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