Cognitive functioning in depression and the course of bipolar affective disorder
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Psychiatr Pol 2013;47(2):239–253
Aim. The study aims were to demonstrate the relationship between neuropsychological functioning in depressed bipolar patients and clinical variables: intensity of depressive symptoms, age at onset, duration of illness, total number of episodes, number of maniac episodes, number of depressive episodes and number of hospitalizations. Method. Cognitive functions were examined in 30 depressed bipolar patients aged 18-68 (M=45.6, SD=12.6; 18 women and 12 men) who fulfilled ICD-10 criteria for depressive episode (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score >= 11). A neuropsychological battery assessed executive functions and working memory. Demographic and clinical variables were assessed with questionnaire. Results: The results do not indicate relationship between the neuropsychological functioning and intensity of depressive symptoms. Number of hospitalizations seems to be related to severity of neuropsychological dysfunction. Longer duration of illness and earlier onset turned out to be connected with better neurocognitive functions. Total number of episodes, number of maniac and depressive episodes are not related to neuropsychological functioning. Conclusions: Neuropsychological impairment in bipolar disorder seems to be stable trait, independent from intensity of depressive symptoms and they progress with course of illness measured by number of hospitalizations.