Neuropsychological symptom dimensions in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Pál Czobor, Judith Jaeger, Stefanie M. Berns, Cristina Gonzalez, Shay Loftus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: While neurocognitive (NC) impairments have been well documented in schizophrenia (SZ), there is limited data as to whether similar impairments are present in other persistent mental illnesses. Recent data indicate that NC impairments may be manifested in bipolar disorder (BPD) and that they persist across disease states, including euthymia. An important question is whether a comparable structure of NC impairments is present in the 2 diagnostic groups. Objective: In a previous factor analytic study, we identified 6 factors to describe the basic underlying structure of neuropsychological (NP) functioning in SZ: Attention, Working Memory, Learning, Verbal Knowledge, Non-Verbal Functions, Ideational Fluency. The goal of this study was to investigate whether this factor structure is generalizable for BPD. Methods: The BPD sample included patients (n = 155) from an ongoing longitudinal study evaluating BPD at the time of hospitalization for relapse and at multiple time points over the following 2 years. The SZ sample included patients (n = 250) from a 3-year study. For the current examination the baseline NP evaluations were selected for both samples. Results: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses in the BPD sampleyielded factors similar to those identified in the SZ sample. The coefficients of congruence ranged between 0.66-0.90 for the individual factors, indicating a good overall correspondence between the factor structures in the 2 diagnostic groups. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) analysis with education level, full scale-IQ, gender and ethnicity as covariates indicated that SZ patients had markedly worse performance on the Attention and Non-Verbal Functioning factors compared to the BPD patients. Conclusions: Together, these data suggest that while the same underlying factor structure describes NP functioning in both groups, the profile of impairments appears to vary with the diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
JournalBipolar disorders
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2007


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Commonality in factor structure
  • Neuropsychological symptom dimensions
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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