The neurocognitive performance of drug-free and medicated euthymic bipolar patients do not differ
Article first published online: 30 APR 2009
© 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 120, Issue 6, pages 456–463, December 2009
How to Cite
Goswami, U., Sharma, A., Varma, A., Gulrajani, C., Ferrier, I. N., Young, A. H., Gallagher, P., Thompson, J. M. and Moore, P. B. (2009), The neurocognitive performance of drug-free and medicated euthymic bipolar patients do not differ. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 120: 456–463. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01390.x
- Issue published online: 10 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 30 APR 2009
- Accepted for publication March 18, 2009
- bipolar disorder;
- cognitive impairment
Objective: Although it is established that euthymic bipolar patients have neurocognitive deficits, the influence of medication on their cognitive performance is uncertain and requires investigation.
Method: Neuropsychological tests of executive function, memory and attention were performed on 44 prospectively verified, euthymic bipolar I patients, 22 of whom were drug-free. Residual mood symptom effects were controlled statistically using ancova.
Results: Drug-free and medicated patients differed only in delayed verbal recall (Rey AVLT list A7, drug-free > medicated), and perseverations during the five-point test (drug-free > medicated). When residual mood symptoms were controlled statistically, differences between drug-free and medicated subjects became insignificant. Medication effect sizes were modest. Significant correlations were found between residual depression scores and measures of verbal learning.
Conclusion: Medications did not have any significant influence on neurocognitive performance, suggesting that neurocognitive deficits are an integral part of bipolar disorder.