This article reviews neuropsychological research in adults with bipolar disorder and compares the findings with emergent data on neuropsychological function in juvenile bipolar disorder. Despite a recent surge of interest in childhood onset bipolar disorder, there remains a scarcity of neuropsychological literature investigating this population. From the study of adult bipolar disorder a substantial body of literature points to the existence of trait deficits in verbal and executive function that are detectable even during euthymia. In the nascent literature on neuropsychology in early onset bipolar, there is growing evidence to suggest that some of the deficits apparent in adults are also discernible in adolescents. Precise knowledge about when, how, and why these deficits appear requires future research of prodromal changes in neurocognition in childhood and adolescent bipolar disorder.
*Academic Discipline of Psychological Medicine, Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney; †Post Traumatic Stress Unit, Department of Medical Psychology, Westmead Hospital; ‡Mood Disorders Unit, Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia; and §Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Sydney South West Area Health Service, Liverpool NSW, Australia.
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