Objectives: Cognitive dysfunction is a key feature of bipolar disorder (BD). However, not much is known about its temporal stability, as some studies have demonstrated a neurodegenerative model in BD while others have shown no change in cognitive functioning over time. Building upon our prior work, which examined the natural course of executive functioning, the current study aimed to investigate the natural course of memory, emotion processing, and fine motor dexterity over a 5-year period in BD and healthy control (HC) samples. Methods: Using a 5-year longitudinal cohort, 90 individuals with BD and 17 HCs were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests at study baseline and at 1 and 5 years after study entry that captured four areas of cognitive performance: visual memory, auditory memory, emotion processing, and fine motor dexterity. Results: Latent growth curve modeling showed no group differences in the slopes of any of the cognitive factors between the BD and HC groups. Age at baseline was negatively associated with visual memory, emotion processing, and fine motor dexterity. Education level was positively associated with auditory and visual memory and fine motor. Female gender was negatively associated with emotion processing. Conclusions: Extending our prior work on longitudinal evaluation of executive functioning, individuals with BD show similar linear change in other areas of cognitive functioning including memory, emotion processing, and fine motor dexterity as compared to unaffected HCs. Age, education, and gender may have some differential effects on cognitive changes.
- affective disorders
- bipolar disorder