Cognition in bipolar versus schizophrenia

Why assess differences in cognition between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?

Neurocognitive deficits are a core feature of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. People with either disorder may perform poorly on cognitive tasks assessing intelligence, memory, executive functioning, language, information processing and attention. Establishing differences in these cognitive domains may assist correct diagnosis and treatment of the two disorders.

What is the evidence for cognition in bipolar disorder compared to schizophrenia?

Moderate to high quality evidence finds a small effect of poorer pre-illness onset cognitive functioning. and a medium-sized effect of poorer post-illness onset cognitive functioning in people with bipolar disorder compared to controls. The effects are larger in people with schizophrenia compared to controls; there was a medium-sized effect of poorer pre-onset cognitive functioning and a large effect of poorer post-onset cognitive functioning.

In direct comparisons between people with bipolar disorder and people with schizophenia, moderate to high quality evidence shows medium-sized effects of poorer verbal fluency, poorer verbal memory and poorer social cognition in people with schizophrenia, and small effects of poorer working memory and slower processing speed.

July 2019

Last updated at: 8:18 am, 26th July 2019
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