Introduction: In this study, we aim to determine 1) the differences in cortisol in patients with bipolar II disorder (BD-II) and control subjects and 2) the correlation between cortisol levels and cognitive function in patients with BD-II during a 24-week follow-up period. Methods: We recruited a total of 32 BD-II patients and 30 healthy control subjects. The BD-II patients were assessed for clinical severity and serum cortisol level at baseline and at weeks 8, 16, and 24. The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Affective Disorders (BACA) was adopted to evaluate cognitive function at baseline and endpoint (week 24). Meanwhile, we assessed the controls for serum cortisol level and BACA at baseline. Results: We observed that the BD-II group had a higher serum cortisol level and lower BACA composite scores compared with the healthy controls at baseline. A significant correlation was found between changes in Verbal Fluency, a subset of BACA, and changes in serum cortisol level after the 24-week follow-up, controlling for age, gender, years of education, and clinical severity (P<0.001). Conclusion: We propose that serum cortisol may be involved in the psychopathological mechanisms of cognitive decline in BD-II.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry