Cognition in relatives

How is cognition relevant to relatives of people with bipolar disorder?

Cognitive deficits have been reported in people with bipolar disorder that are present early in the course of the disorder and may be stable over time. Relatives may show attenuated signs of cognitive deficits. If cognitive deficits found in people with bipolar disorder are also found in their relatives, this may be suggestive of an underlying genetic basis.

What is the evidence for cognition in relatives of people with bipolar disorder?

High quality evidence suggests small to medium-sized effects of poorer processing speed, verbal fluency, executive functioning (speed tasks), and social cognition in relatives, with no differences in executive functioning (accuracy), IQ, verbal memory, visual memory, working memory or sustained attention when compared to controls.

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests small to medium-sized effects of better IQ, verbal memory, working memory, processing speed, verbal fluency, and accuracy of executive functioning in relatives of people with bipolar disorder compared to relatives of people with schizophrenia, with no differences in executive functioning (on speeded tasks), visual memory or sustained attention.

April 2019

Last updated at: 4:55 am, 8th April 2019
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