, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 433-450
Date: 09 Sep 2011

Neurocognitive performance in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder: a review

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A number of studies have reported the evidence of cognitive deficits in adult bipolar patients. Recently, there has been a shift in research on neurocognitive performance in bipolar disorder (BD) towards examining younger age groups. A review of the literature on neurocognitive impairments in BD in childhood and adolescence was conducted. We searched systematically for studies in samples of age groups younger than 18 years of age in average that included either a healthy control group or normative data for the cognitive tests used. Twenty-one original articles were found and reviewed. Children and adolescents with BD show deficits in a variety of cognitive areas. The most consistent results were found for impairments in verbal memory. A majority of studies also indicated impairments in working memory. Similar pattern of neurocognitive impairment was found in children and adolescents as compared to adults suffering from BD. The neurocognitive deficits need to be recognized and incorporated into individual treatment programs.