Get access

Association of clinical symptoms and neurocognitive performance in bipolar disorder: a longitudinal study


  • The authors of this paper do not have any commercial associations that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with this manuscript.

Corresponding author:
David C. Glahn, Ph.D.
Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center
Whitehall Research Building
Institute of Living
200 Retreat Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106, USA
Fax: 860-545-7797


Chaves OC, Lombardo LE, Bearden CE, Woolsey MD, Martinez DM, Barrett JA, Miller AL, Velligan DI, Glahn DC. Association of clinical symptoms and neurocognitive performance in bipolar disorder: a longitudinal study.
Bipolar Disord 2011: 13: 118–123. © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Objective:  Despite evidence that individuals with bipolar disorder have neurocognitive impairment that persists during euthymia, the impact of changes in affective symptoms on cognitive function has not been well established. Here, we sought to determine whether specific neurocognitive functions are sensitive to mood changes in individuals with bipolar disorder assessed three months apart without changes in treatment regimen.

Methods:  A total of 29 individuals with DSM-IV bipolar disorder and 30 healthy controls participated in the study. All participants received a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment and ratings of depressive [Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD)] and manic [Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS)] symptoms at baseline and follow-up. Changes in symptoms over time were calculated and were examined in relation to changes in neurocognitive performance.

Results:  At baseline, clinically stable but symptomatic patients were impaired on measures of speed of processing and attention. Over the three-month follow-up period, HAMD scores changed by 6 points on average [range: −10 to +18] and YMRS scores changed by 5.31 points on average [range −11 to +15]. Changes in depressive symptoms were correlated with poorer verbal fluency, while no relationship between manic symptoms and neuropsychological performance was detected.

Conclusions:  Individuals with bipolar disorder showed consistent impairment on speed of processing and attention over time, despite significant changes in mood.

Get access to the full text of this article