Comparative Study
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Comparison of cognitive performance in first-episode drug-naïve schizophrenia, bipolar II disorder, and major depressive disorder patients after treatment.

BMC Psychiatry 2024 June 12
BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment is a recognized fundamental deficit in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia (SZ), bipolar II disorder (BD II), and major depressive disorder (MDD), among other psychiatric disorders. However, limited research has compared cognitive function among first-episode drug-naïve individuals with SZ, BD II, or MDD.

METHODS: This study aimed to address this gap by assessing the cognitive performance of 235 participants (40 healthy controls, 58 SZ patients, 72 BD II patients, and 65 MDD patients) using the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) before and after 12 weeks of treatment in SZ, BD II, and MDD patients. To clarify, the healthy controls only underwent RBANS testing at baseline, whereas the patient groups were assessed before and after treatment. The severity of symptoms in SZ patients was measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and depression in BD II and MDD patients was assessed using the Hamilton Depression Scale-24 items (HAMD-24 items).

RESULTS: Two hundred participants completed the 12-week treatment period, with 35 participants dropping out due to various reasons. This group included 49 SZ patients, 58 BD II patients, and 53 MDD patients. Among SZ patients, significant improvements in immediate and delayed memory were observed after 12 weeks of treatment compared to their initial scores. Similarly, BD II patients showed significant improvement in immediate and delayed memory following treatment. However, there were no significant differences in RBANS scores for MDD patients after 12 weeks of treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the findings of this study suggest that individuals with BD II and SZ may share similar deficits in cognitive domains. It is important to note that standardized clinical treatment may have varying degrees of effectiveness in improving cognitive function in patients with BD II and SZ, which could potentially alleviate cognitive dysfunction.

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