Neurocognitive impairment in the bipolar spectrum

Author(s): Imma Torres, Brisa Sole, Eduard Vieta & Anabel Martinez-Aran

Neurocognitive impairment is a core deficit of bipolar disorder (BD) since it persists into remission. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the main neurocognitive disturbances found in the bipolar spectrum. An extensive review of the literature has been carried out for the different subtypes of BD (BD-I, BD-II, BD not otherwise specified, cyclothymia and schizoaffective disorder). Findings from this extensive review suggest that deficits are present across the whole bipolar spectrum (BD-I and BD-II), but some neurocognitive deficits are of lesser magnitude in BD-II. Other subtypes, such as BD not otherwise specified and cyclothymia, deserve more research concerning their effects on neurocognition. Given the correlation between neurocognitive impairment and difficulties in functioning, it may be useful to develop neurocognitive remediation strategies adapted to BD that are aimed at preventing cognitive impairment and restoring the psychosocial functioning of the patient.


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