Article: article from journal or magazin.
Neuroanatomical and neuropsychological features of euthymic patients with bipolar disorder.
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
OBJECTIVE: Previous studies reported that the severity of cognitive deficits in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder (BD) increases with the duration of illness and postulated that progressive neuronal loss or shrinkage and white matter changes may be at the origin of this phenomenon. To explore this issue, the authors performed a case-control study including detailed neuropsychological and magnetic resonance imaging analyses in 17 euthymic elderly patients with BD and 17 healthy individuals. METHODS: Neuropsychological evaluation concerned working memory, episodic memory, processing speed, and executive functions. Volumetric estimates of the amygdala, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex were obtained using both voxel-based and region of interest morphometric methods. Periventricular and deep white matter were assessed semiquantitatively. Differences in cognitive performances and structural data between BD and comparison groups were analyzed using paired t-test or analysis of variance. Wilcoxon test was used in the absence of normal distribution. RESULTS: Compared with healthy individuals, patients with BD obtained significantly lower performances in processing speed, working memory, and episodic memory but not in executive functions. Morphometric analyses did not show significant volumetric or white matter differences between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Our results revealed impairment in verbal memory, working memory, and processing speed in euthymic older adults with BD. These cognitive deficits are comparable both in terms of affected functions and size effects to those previously reported in younger cohorts with BD. Both this observation and the absence of structural brain abnormalities in our cohort do not support a progressively evolving neurotoxic effect in BD.
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