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Sustained attention as a potential endophenotype for bipolar disorder


Jose Antonio Cabranes Díaz, PhD, MD, Instituto de Psiquiatría y Salud Mental. CIBERSAM, Clínico San Carlos Hospital, Martín Lagos s/n 28040, Madrid, Spain.


Ancín I, Santos JL, Teijeira C, Sánchez-Morla EM, Bescós MJ, Argudo I, Torrijos S, Vázquez-Álvarez B, De La Vega I, López-Ibor JJ, Barabash A, Cabranes-Díaz JA. Sustained attention as a potential endophenotype for bipolar disorder.

Objective:  Nowadays, it is accepted that to identify the biological basis of psychiatric illnesses it would be useful to deconstruct them into the most basic manifestations, such as cognitive deficits. The aim of this study was to set attention deficit as a stable vulnerability marker of bipolar disorder.

Method:  Sustained attention was evaluated by the Continuous Performance Test (DS-CPT) in 143 euthymic bipolar patients and 105 controls. To estimate the influence of clinical profile in attention, patients completed a semi-structured interview.

Results:  Bipolar patients showed a deficit in attention during euthymic periods. This disturbance correlated with years of evolution, age of onset and age of first hospitalisation; and was not influenced by other clinical data.

Conclusion:  Sustained attention may be considered as an endophenotype of the illness.