Neuropsychological functioning in youth with bipolar disorder

Alysa E. Doyle, Timothy E. Wilens, Anne Kwon, Larry J. Seidman, Stephen V. Faraone, Ronna Fried, Allison Swezey, Lindsey Snyder, Joseph Biederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the neuropsychological status of youth with bipolar disorder (BPD) or whether cognitive deficits in this population are accounted for by comorbidity with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We compared neuropsychological and academic functioning of youth with and without DSM-IV BPD, controlling for effects of comorbid ADHD. Methods: Fifty-seven youth with BPD and 46 healthy control subjects were assessed on a battery of clinical neuropsychological measures including subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children and Adults (Third Editions), the Stroop, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Rey-Osterreith Complex Figure, an auditory working memory Continuous Performance Test, a measure of verbal learning, and the Wide Range Achievement Test-Third Edition. Results: Bipolar disorder was associated with impairments on subtests reflecting sustained attention, working memory, and processing speed after controlling for ADHD. Additionally, decrements of moderate effect sizes were found for measures of interference control, abstract problem solving, and verbal learning but did not meet criteria for statistical significance. Conclusions: After controlling for ADHD, youth with BPD show neuropsychological deficits similar to impairments found in adults with the disorder. Further studies are needed to understand the clinical implications of these impairments as well as their role in the underlying risk for pediatric BPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-548
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Juvenile mania
  • Neuropsychology
  • Pediatric bipolar disorder


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