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Cognitive dysfunctions and white matter lesions in patients with bipolardisorder in remission

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Objective: To compare cognitive functioning in relation to white matter lesions in bipolar disorder in remission and schizophrenia.

Method: Cognitive performance and the occurrence of white matter lesions on MRI images of the brain were assessed in 22 patients with bipolar disorder in remission, 22 patients with schizophrenia and 22 healthy volunteers.

Results: Performance of tests of memory, speed and cognitive flexibility was significantly impaired in both patient groups. The frequency of white matter lesions did not differ significantly between the three groups. No differences in cognitive performance were found between patients with white matter lesions and patients without such lesions.

Conclusion: White matter lesions apparently do not underlie cognitive deficits that are found in patients with bipolar disorder in remission and in patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords: affective disorders; cognition; magnetic resonance imaging; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University and University Hospital Maastricht, the Netherlands, 2: H.C. Rümke Group and University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Netherlands

Publication date: April 1, 2000


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