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Social Cognition and Global Functioning in Bipolar Disorder

Lahera, Guillermo MD*; Ruiz-Murugarren, Salvador MD*; Iglesias, Paloma MD*; Ruiz-Bennasar, Claudia MD*; Herrería, Elvira MD*; Montes, José Manuel MD; Fernández-Liria, Alberto MD*

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: February 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 2 - p 135–141
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182438eae
Original Articles

The purpose of this study was to assess the role of social cognition, together with other relevant clinical variables and measures of general cognition, in the global functioning of euthymic bipolar patients. Thirty-nine euthymic outpatients fulfilling DSM-IV-TR criteria for bipolar disorder type I or II were recruited and were divided in two groups: high (n = 19) and low (n = 20) global functioning. Both groups’ performance was compared in verbal and nonverbal social cognition (Faux pas test and Facial Emotion Recognition test), sustained attention and executive function. The low-functioning group showed a significant impairment in both verbal and nonverbal measurements of social cognition compared with the high-functioning group. Globally, both bipolar groups showed a significant impairment in facial emotion recognition compared with a similar sample of healthy volunteers. Social cognition may play a significant role in the clinical-functional gap of bipolar patients.

*Principe de Asturias University Hospital, University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain; and †Sureste Hospital, Arganda, Madrid, Spain.

Send reprint requests to Guillermo Lahera, MD, Lope de Rueda, 3, 6 D 28009, Madrid, Spain. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.