Declarative memory impairment in pediatric bipolar disorder

Authors

  • David C Glahn,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
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  • Carrie E Bearden,

    1. Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, CA
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  • Sheila Caetano,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
    2. South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division, San Antonio, TX, USA
    3. Institute of Psychiatry, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo
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  • Manoela Fonseca,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
    2. South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division, San Antonio, TX, USA
    3. Psychiatry Research Unit, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, School of Medicine, Porto Alegre, Brazil
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  • Pablo Najt,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
    2. South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division, San Antonio, TX, USA
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  • Kristina Hunter,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
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  • Steve R Pliszka,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
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  • Rene L Olvera,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
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  • Jair C Soares

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
    2. South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division, San Antonio, TX, USA
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  • The authors of this paper do not have any commercial associations that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with this manuscript.

David C Glahn, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Mail Code 7792, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA. Fax: (210) 567–1291. e-mail: glahn@uthscsa.edu

Abstract

Objectives:  Impaired verbal declarative memory has been proposed as a trait marker for adult bipolar disorder. However, similar impairments in juvenile-onset bipolar disorder have not been yet documented. Here, we assessed declarative memory in a large sample of clinically well-characterized children with bipolar disorder.

Methods:  Forty-one children and adolescents with bipolar disorder [21 bipolar I disorder (BP-I), 10 bipolar II disorder (BP-II), and 10 bipolar disorder, not otherwise specified (BP-NOS)] and 17 demographically matched healthy participants completed a standardized learning and memory test.

Results:  BP-I children recalled and recognized significantly fewer words than healthy subjects, whereas children with BP-II and BP-NOS did not differ from controls. However, individuals with BP-NOS made more perseverative errors and intrusions than the other groups. Severity of mood symptomatology was not associated with memory performance in any bipolar subtype.

Conclusions:  Findings suggest that declarative memory impairments in juvenile BP-I are similar to those seen in the adult form of the illness. These impairments do not appear to be secondary to clinical state; rather, they may reflect trait-related impairments. Distinct performance patterns in BP-I, BP-II, and BP-NOS suggest that the broadly defined phenotype is significantly heterogeneous, and may not be informative for pathogenetic investigations of bipolar disorder.

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