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August 20, 2005

Cognitive Impairment Common in Bipolar Disorder

Cognitive impairment is something that is common in those suffering from bipolar disorder, but apparently it is not reported in many of the cases in which it is apparent. Some of the potential reasons for it not being reported were: inability to notice it in oneself, trying to hide them, or "subthreshold affective symptoms."

37 patients with bipolar disorder participated in the study. "More than 75% of the patients, even those who were affectively nonsyndromal, displayed some cognitive deficits, most notably in verbal learning and memory. The results showed that the patients' self-reports of impairment did not reliably predict objective neuropsychological deficits. There was a tendency for patients to over report cognitive problems, although this was not consistent across all three measures" (PsychiatryMatters.MD, 2005).

The measures used were the Cognitive Difficulties Scale (CDS), Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ), as well as the Patient's Assessment of Own Functioning (PAOF). Complaints of cognitive impairment should be payed attention to as they can often lead to a patient not following treatment guidelines.

Cognitive impairment may make the patient not want to take their medication for bipolar disorder or it could make them feel like their treatment is not working. One's rating on mania scales and depression scales did not have a correlation with one's score on neuropsychological tests or any complaints they had of their own.

Original Source: Cognitive impairment common among bipolar disorder patients. PsychiatryMatters.MD. 2005.

This research article was originally published in: Psychiatry Res 2005; 136: 43-50.

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