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Neuropsychological Clustering in Bipolar and Major Depressive Disorder

  • Charles Cotrena (a1), Laura Damiani Branco (a1), André Ponsoni (a1), Flávio Milman Shansis (a2) and Rochele Paz Fonseca (a1)...

Abstract

Objectives: Cognitive dysfunction is a key feature of major depressive (MDD) and bipolar (BD) disorders. However, rather than a single cognitive profile corresponding to each diagnostic categories, recent studies have identified significant intra- and cross-diagnostic variability in patterns of cognitive impairment. The goal of this study was to contribute to the literature on cognitive heterogeneity in mood disorders by identifying cognitive subprofiles in a population of patients with MDD, BD type I, BD type II, and healthy adults. Methods: Participants completed a neuropsychological battery; scores were converted into Z-scores using normative data and submitted to hierarchical cluster analysis. Results: Three distinct neuropsychological clusters were identified: (1) a large cluster containing mostly control participants, as well as some patients with BD and MDD, who performed at above-average levels on all neuropsychological domains; (2) a cluster containing some patients from all diagnostic groups, as well as healthy controls, who performed worse than cluster 1 on most tasks, and showed impairments in motor inhibition and verbal fluency; (3) a cluster containing mostly patients with mood disorders with severe impairments in verbal inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Conclusions: These findings revealed multiple cognitive profiles within diagnostic categories, as well as significant cross-diagnostic overlap, highlighting the importance of developing more specific treatment approaches which consider patients’ demographic and cognitive profiles in addition to their diagnosis. (JINS, 2017, 23, 584–593)

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Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Laura Damiani Branco, Av. Ipiranga, 6681, Building 11, Room 932, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. 90619-900. E-mail: lauradbranco@gmail.com

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