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Longitudinal studies of the relationship between cognition and functioning in bipolar disorder are scarce, although cognition is thought to be a key determinant of functioning. The causal structure between cognition and psychosocial functioning in bipolar disorder is unknown.
We sought to examine the direction of causality between cognitive performance and functional outcome over 2 years in a large cohort of euthymic patients with bipolar disorder.
The sample consisted of 272 adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder who were euthymic at baseline, 12 and 24 months. All participants were recruited via the FondaMental Advanced Centers of Expertise in Bipolar Disorders. We used a battery of tests, assessing six domains of cognition at baseline and 24 months. Residual depressive symptoms and psychosocial functioning were measured at baseline and 12 and 24 months. The possible causal structure between cognition and psychosocial functioning was investigated with cross-lagged panel models with residual depressive symptoms as a covariate.
The analyses support a causal model in which cognition moderately predicts and is causally primary to functional outcome 1 year later, whereas psychosocial functioning does not predict later cognitive performance. Subthreshold depressive symptoms concurrently affected functioning at each time of measure.
Our results are compatible with an upward causal effect of cognition on functional outcome in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder. Neuropsychological assessment may help specify individual prognoses. Further studies are warranted to confirm this causal link and evaluate cognitive remediation, before or simultaneously with functional remediation, as an intervention to improve functional outcome.
Cognitive deficits are a well-established feature of bipolar disorders (BD), even during periods of euthymia, but risk factors associated with cognitive deficits in euthymic BD are still poorly understood. We aimed to validate classification criteria for the identification of clinically significant cognitive impairment, based on psychometric properties, to estimate the prevalence of neuropsychological deficits in euthymic BD, and identify risk factors for cognitive deficits using a multivariate approach.
We investigated neuropsychological performance in 476 euthymic patients with BD recruited via the French network of BD expert centres. We used a battery of tests, assessing five domains of cognition. Five criteria for the identification of neuropsychological impairment were tested based on their convergent and concurrent validity. Uni- and multivariate logistic regressions between cognitive impairment and several clinical and demographic variables were performed to identify risk factors for neuropsychological impairment in BD.
One cut-off had satisfactory psychometric properties and yielded a prevalence of 12.4% for cognitive deficits in euthymic BD. Antipsychotics use were associated with the presence of a cognitive deficit.
This is the first study to validate a criterion for clinically significant cognitive impairment in BD. We report a lower prevalence of cognitive impairment than previous studies, which may have overestimated its prevalence. Patients with euthymic BD and cognitive impairment may benefit from cognitive remediation.
The relationship between residual depressive symptoms, cognition and functioning in patients with euthymic bipolar disorder is a subject of debate.
To assess whether cognition mediates the association between residual depressive symptoms and functioning in patients with bipolar disorder who were euthymic.
We included 241 adults with euthymic bipolar disorder in a multicentre cross-sectional study. We used a battery of tests to assess six cognition domains. A path analysis was then used to perform a mediation analysis of the relationship between residual depressive symptoms, cognitive components and functioning.
Only verbal and working memory were significantly associated with better functioning. Residual depressive symptoms were associated with poorer functioning. No significant relationship was found between residual depressive symptoms and any cognitive component.
Cognition and residual depressive symptoms appear to be two independent sources of variation in the functioning of people with euthymic bipolar disorder.
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