The effect of comorbid anxiety disorder on neuropsychological function in bipolar II disorder

Hsin I. Wu, Yun Hsuan Chang, Chun Chieh Lai, Jo Yung Wei Wu, Shiou Lan Chen, Chun Hsien Chu, I. Hui Lee, Tzung Lieh Yeh, Nian Sheng Tzeng, San Yuan Huang, Yen Kuang Yang, Ru Band Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BP) is often comorbid with anxiety disorder (ANX), especially in bipolar II disorder (BP-II). BP patients with comorbid ANX often manifest intensified symptoms and harmful dysfunctions. However, most studies have focused on bipolar I disorder (BP-I); few have investigated the effect of comorbid ANX on the neuropsychological function of BP-II patients. We examined neuropsychological functions in BP-II patients with and without comorbid ANX. Methods: Fifty-nine participants were recruited: 20 patients with interepisode (symptom-free) BP-II without comorbid ANX, 20 with interepisode BP-II with comorbid ANX, and 19 healthy controls. All participants were screened using the Chinese version of the Modified Schedule of Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia-Lifetime (SADS-L). Individuals comorbid with major or minor mental illness other than BP-II were excluded. Comparisons were made between the three groups using neuropsychological tests to assess memory, attention, psychomotor speed, and frontal executive function. Results: BP-II patients with comorbid ANX showed poorer neuropsychological functions than those in the BP-II-only and control groups. Additionally, BP-II-only patients and controls showed equal cognitive performance. Conclusions: Because BP-II patients with comorbid ANX had the lowest scores in the majority of neuropsychological functional tests, we conclude that they have greater cognitive impairments than do BP-II patients without comorbid ANX. Neuropsychological dysfunctions seemed more strongly associated with ANX than with BP-II in interepisode periods. Identifying and managing ANX comorbidity is critical when treating BP-II patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1841-1845
Number of pages5
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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