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Keywords:

  • bipolar disorder;
  • endophenotype;
  • familial vulnerability;
  • neurocognition

Aim:  Cognitive deficits have been presupposed to be endophenotypic markers in bipolar disorder, but few studies have ascertained the cognitive deficits in healthy relatives of bipolar disorder patients. The aim of the present study was to assess the cognitive functions of first-degree relatives of patients with bipolar disorder and compare them with healthy controls.

Methods:  Ten first-degree apparently healthy relatives of patients with bipolar disorder were compared with 10 age- and education-matched control subjects on computer-based cognitive tests.

Results:  As compared to the control group, the relatives group performed significantly poorly on tests for executive function and vigilance, while on the test for working memory the performance was not significantly different on most of the parameters.

Conclusions:  Executive functioning and vigilance could be potential markers of the endophenotype in bipolar patients.