The impact of a history of psychotic symptoms on cognitive function in euthymic bipolar patients: a comparison with schizophrenic patients and healthy controls Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: About two-thirds of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) have a lifetime history of at least one psychotic symptom. Objective: To compare the neurocognitive performance of four groups: BD patients with and without a history of psychotic symptoms (BD HPS+ and BD HPS-, respectively); patients with schizophrenia (SZ); and healthy control (HC) subjects. METHOD: In this cross-sectional study, 35 stabilized patients with SZ, 79 euthymic (44 HPS+ and 35 HPS-) patients with BD, and 50 HC were administered a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. RESULTS: There was worse neurocognitive functioning in both BD and SZ patients compared to HC. Overall, data from both groups of BD patients did not differ on sociodemographic, clinical, or neurocognitive variables. However, BD HPS+ patients had significantly more negative symptoms, as measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and showed a trend toward worse performance on executive functions compared to BD HPS- patients. Moreover, both BD groups had better performance on all neurocognitive tests compared to SZ group. CONCLUSIONS: Neurocognitive dysfunction may be more marked in SZ than in BD, yet qualitatively similar. A history of past psychotic symptoms in BD was not associated with more severe cognitive impairment during euthymia. Therefore, BD with psychotic symptoms does not appear to be a distinct neurocognitive phenotype.


  • Brissos, Sofia
  • Dias, Vasco Videira
  • Soeiro-de-Souza, Márcio Gerhardt
  • Balanzá-Martínez, Vicent
  • Kapczinski, Flavio

publication date

  • December 2011