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Review: some evidence of impaired neurocognitive performance in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder

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Do children and adolescents with bipolar disorder exhibit cognitive impairment and on which domains?



Systematic review.

Data sources

Pubmed and PsychINFO were searched from inception to February 2011 for studies examining cognitive impairments in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. Reference lists of identified studies were hand searched.

Study selection and analysis

Reviewers selected studies comparing cognitive impairments in children and adolescents (aged less than 18 years old) with DSM-IV bipolar disorder with either a healthy sample or normative data. No meta-analyses were performed.

Main results

Twenty-one articles (19 cross-sectional, two longitudinal) met inclusion criteria. There were 757 participants with bipolar disorder (BD) (73% with bipolar I, 11% with bipolar II, 3% with bipolar not otherwise specified). Most participants were taking mood stabilisers, SSRIs, stimulants or neuroleptics. Comorbid attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was present in 74–79% of participants in 18 studies. In general, the studies found mixed results (please refer Webextra table for summary). Vigilance and sustained attention: Eleven studies examined vigilance and sustained attention (n=519 participants with BD). Six studies found no differences in performance between those with BD and controls. Five studies found that participants with BD performed worse …

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  • Competing interests None.