Neurocognitive Functioning in Bipolar Disorder: A Comprehensive Review of Recent Data

  • Kostas N. Fountoulakis


The neurocognitive function of BD patients has been the focus of debate for decades. It was unclear whether the observed neurocognitive deficit is because of some kind of iatrogenic or alcohol and/or drug abuse effects, whether it reflects temporary functional changes as a result of mood changes or on the contrary it is the product of degenerative structural brain changes or of some kind of structural changes of a neurodevelopmental origin or it derives from the same enduring functional brain alterations that cause mood dysregulation. The latest research data suggest that the neurocognitive impairment is an enduring component of BD and represent a core primary characteristic of the illness, rather than being secondary to the mood state or medication. A recent study reported that 84 % of the schizophrenia patients, 58.3 % of psychotic major depression patients and 57.7 % of psychotic BD patients were cognitively impaired (1 SD below healthy controls in at least two domains).


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kostas N. Fountoulakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Neurosciences 3rd Department of PsychiatryAristotle University of Thessaloniki School of MedicineThessalonikiGreece

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