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Relationship between olfactory function and social cognition in euthymic bipolar patients

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2013

Guillermo Lahera*
Affiliation:
Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties (Psychiatry), University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain
Salvador Ruiz-Murugarren
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital, Alcala, Madrid, Spain
Alberto Fernández-Liria
Affiliation:
Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties (Psychiatry), University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain Department of Psychiatry, Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital, Alcala, Madrid, Spain
Jerónimo Saiz-Ruiz
Affiliation:
Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties (Psychiatry), University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain Department of Psychiatry, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, Mental Health National Net IRYCIS: CIBERSAM, Madrid, Spain
Benjamin E. Buck
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC, USA
David L. Penn
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC, USA
*
*Address for correspondence: Guillermo Lahera, Lope de Rueda 3, 28009 Madrid, Spain. (Email guillermo.lahera@uah.es)

Abstract

Objective/Introduction

There is a close functional and neuroanatomical relationship between olfactory ability and emotional processing. The present study seeks to explore the association between olfactory ability and social cognition, especially facial emotion perception, in euthymic bipolar patients.

Methods

Thirty-nine euthymic outpatients meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for bipolar disorder and 40 healthy volunteers matched on socio-demographic criteria were recruited. Both groups were assessed at one time point with the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), the Emotion Recognition Test, and The Faux Pas Recognition Test, as well as measures of general cognition and functioning.

Results

The bipolar patients showed a significant impairment in olfactory identification (UPSIT) and social cognition measures compared to healthy controls. Analyses revealed significant relationships between olfactory identification and facial emotion recognition, theory of mind, general cognition, and a trend-level relationship with functioning. Controlling for age and cigarettes smoked, relationships remained significant between olfactory function and facial emotion recognition.

Conclusion

There is a deficit of olfactory identification in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder that is correlated with a deficit in both verbal and non-verbal measures of social cognition.

Type
Original Research
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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Footnotes

The authors wish to thank the Foundation for Biomedical Research (Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital) for the grant support.

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