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Longitudinal Study of Sustained Attention in Outpatients with Bipolar Disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2014

Alexandrea L. Harmell
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, La Jolla, California San Diego State University, Department of Psychology, San Diego, California
Brent T. Mausbach
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, La Jolla, California
Raeanne C. Moore
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, La Jolla, California The Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California
Colin A. Depp
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, La Jolla, California The Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California
Dilip V. Jeste
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, La Jolla, California The Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California
Barton W. Palmer*
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, La Jolla, California The Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California Veterans Medical Research Foundation, VASDHS, San Diego, California
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Barton W. Palmer, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry 116A-1, University of California, San Diego, 8950 Villa La Jolla Drive Suite B101, La Jolla, CA 92037. E-mail: bpalmer@ucsd.edu

Abstract

Individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) may exhibit attentional deficits, however, the extent of impairment and long-term fluctuations in performance in attention are relatively unknown. We investigated the relationship between sustained attention and affective symptoms over time among BD patients. We also examined whether global differences in attentional capacity differed among BD versus normal comparison (NC) subjects. Participants included 106 outpatients with BD and 66 NC subjects who were administered symptom rating scales and a measure of sustained attention (Continuous Performance Test- Identical Pairs). Measures were repeated 6, 12, and 26 weeks post-baseline. Compared to NC subjects, participants with BD showed impairment in sustained attention across time. Within patient increases in manic symptoms were associated with increased false alarms; both manic and depressive symptoms were associated with worse discrimination. Neither manic nor depressive symptoms were related to hit rates. Our results indicate that the ability to inhibit a response to near miss stimuli (i.e., those that are close to but not identical to the target) is globally impaired among BD patients relative to NC subjects, as well as state-dependent, covarying with affective symptoms. Psychosocial interventions requiring high levels of attentional capacity may need to be adapted according to patients’ current symptomatology. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–8)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2014 

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