Executive functioning in familial bipolar I disorder patients and their unaffected relatives

Authors

  • Katja K Schulze,

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Muriel Walshe,

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Daniel Stahl,

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
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  • Mei Hua Hall,

    1. Psychology Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA, USA
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  • Eugenia Kravariti,

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
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  • Robin Morris,

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
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  • Nicolette Marshall,

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
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  • Colm McDonald,

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Clinical Science Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
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  • Robin M Murray,

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
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  • Elvira Bramon

    1. King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychosis Studies and Department of Psychology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, 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.

Corresponding author:
Muriel Walshe, Ph.D.
Department of Psychosis Studies
Psychosis Clinical Academic Group
Institute of Psychiatry
King’s Health Partners
King’s College London
De Crespigny Park
London SE5 8AF, UK
Fax: +44-2077019044
E-mail: muriel.walshe@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Schulze KK, Walshe M, Stahl D, Hall MH, Kravariti E, Morris R, Marshall N, McDonald C, Murray RM, Bramon E. Executive functioning in familial bipolar I disorder patients and their unaffected relatives.
Bipolar Disord 2011: 13: 208–216. © 2011 The Authors.
Journal compilation © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Objective:  To compare the executive function of patients with familial bipolar I disorder (BP-I) with a history of psychotic symptoms to their first-degree relatives and normal controls.

Methods:  Three domains of executive function: response inhibition, working memory, and cognitive set shifting were assessed in 44 familial patients with a lifetime diagnosis of BP-I who had experienced psychotic symptoms, 42 of their unaffected first-degree relatives, and 47 controls.

Results:  Bipolar disorder patients and their unaffected relatives had significantly worse scores for response inhibition compared to healthy controls. The groups did not differ in working memory or cognitive set shifting.

Conclusions:  Impairments in response inhibition are associated with both psychotic bipolar disorder and genetic liability for this illness. Our results indicate that deficits in this specific domain of executive functioning are a promising candidate endophenotype for psychotic bipolar disorder.

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