Deficits in neurocognitive functions can hinder the functional recovery and the quality of life of psychiatric patients, especially those with bipolar disorder. Numerous reports consistently demonstrated cognitive deficits in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder; however, their relation to the clinical profile remains unclear. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the range of neuropsychological deficits in euthymic patients with bipolar II disorder and to correlate these neuropsychological deficits with their illness characteristics.Patients and methods
Thirty bipolar affective disorder type II patients in their euthymic state were assessed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the Young Mania Rating Scale, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the Wechsler Memory Scale, the Continuous Performance Test, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Patients’ cognitive functions were compared with a matched control group.Results
The performance on most domains of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was associated with the total number of episodes, the number of depressive episodes, the age of onset, and the average duration of an episode in months. The performance on the Wechsler Memory Scale was significantly associated across most domains with the total number of episodes, the number of depressive episodes, the age in years, the average duration of an episode in months, and the average duration of illness in years. The performance deficits on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test were significantly associated with the total number of episodes, the number of depressive episodes, family history, and the average duration of illness in years.Conclusion
Bipolar II euthymic patients showed persistent cognitive deficits in some aspects of general intellectual capacity, executive and memory functions, and the ability for sustained attention, which are correlated with some clinical variables. Bipolar II patients should be routinely assessed for deficits in cognitive functions to enable early intervention and rehabilitation.