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Memory functioning in familial bipolar I disorder patients and their relatives

Authors

  • Seema Quraishi,

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
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    • *

      Joint first authorship.

  • Muriel Walshe,

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
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    • *

      Joint first authorship.

  • Colm McDonald,

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Clinical Science Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
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  • Katja Schulze,

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
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  • Eugenia Kravariti,

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
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  • Elvira Bramon,

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
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  • Robin G Morris,

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
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  • Robin M Murray,

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
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  • Timothea Toulopoulou

    1. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
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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.

Eugenia Kravariti, Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Fax: 020 7701 9044; e-mail: e.kravariti@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Objective:  The aim of this study was to compare the memory function of patients with familial bipolar I disorder (BD I) who had shown psychotic features, their non-psychotic, non-bipolar first-degree relatives, and normal controls.

Method:  We assessed 38 patients with a lifetime diagnosis of BD I who had experienced psychotic symptoms, 49 of their non-psychotic, non-bipolar first-degree relatives, and 44 controls. Patients and relatives were from families multiply affected with functional psychotic illness. A five-subtest short form of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised and three Wechsler Memory Scale subtests were administered to all participants.

Results:  BD I patients showed deficits in verbal memory and verbal learning but not in visual memory. Compared to controls, relatives showed worse verbal learning at a statistically significant or suggestive level and performed significantly worse in both immediate and delayed verbal memory. Similar to patients, there were no differences between the relatives and control group for visual memory.

Conclusion:  Impaired verbal memory and learning were found in patients and their relatives. These deficits may represent candidate endophenotypic markers for bipolar disorder.

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