Cognitive Abilities Stay Relatively Stable Throughout Bipolar Disorder
Many researchers have suggested that cognitive deficits may progress throughout the course of bipolar disorder. However, findings from an analysis involving 14 previous studies suggest that the cognitive deficits experiences by bipolar patients remain relatively stable across the disease course.
As Sarah Pritchard reports, the researchers saw no significant differences in 14 cognitive variables examined throughout the analyses, including verbal memory, verbal fluency, processing speed, and cognitive ability.
Sergio Stejilevich, from Favaloro University, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his colleagues argue their work “contributes to […] knowledge on the longitudinal trajectory of cognitive deficits as a synthesis of the evidence available to date.” Most notably, they conclude their findings do “not support the hypothesis of a progressive decline of cognitive effects”.
The study was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
While the team does concede that follow-up times, differences in medication variables, a lack of mood rating scales at baseline, and follow-up attrition rates could limit the interpretability of their findings. However, they maintain they could contribute to future studies “by providing a clue about the follow-up time needed to evaluate a potential cognitive decline.”