Hippocampus volume decreases and verbal memory deficits have been reported in bipolar disorder (BD) as independent observations. We investigated potential associations between these deficits in subjects with BD. Hippocampus volumes were measured on magnetic resonance images of 31 subjects with BD and 32 healthy comparison (HC) subjects. The California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT) assessed verbal memory function in these subjects. Compared to the HC group, the BD group showed both significantly smaller hippocampus volumes and impaired performance on CVLT tests of immediate, short delay and long delay cued and free recall. Further, smaller hippocampus volume correlated with impaired performance in BD. Post hoc analyses revealed a trend towards improved memory in BD subjects taking antidepressant medications. These results support associations between morphological changes in hippocampus structure in BD and verbal memory impairment. They provide preliminary evidence pharmacotherapy may reverse hippocampus-related memory deficits.
- Bipolar disorder
- Magnetic resonance imaging