Meta-analyses of cognitive functioning in euthymic bipolar patients and their first-degree relatives

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Previous work suggests that impairments in executive function and verbal memory in particular may persist in euthymic bipolar patients and serve as an indicator of genetic risk (endophenotype).


A systematic review of the literature was undertaken. Effects sizes were extracted from selected papers and pooled using meta-analytical techniques.


In bipolar patients, large effect sizes (d>0.8) were noted for executive functions (working memory, executive control, fluency) and verbal memory. Medium effect sizes (0.5Conclusions

Executive function and verbal memory are candidate bipolar endophenotypes given large deficits in these domains in bipolar patients and small, but intermediate, cognitive impairments in first-degree relatives.

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