Despite the increasing use of lamotrigine (LTG) in bipolar disorder, little is known about its impact on cognition in bipolar patients. Therefore, we have evaluated 33 bipolar I and II patients on cognitive measures (verbal memory, attention, executive functions) while receiving either LTG (n = 15) or another anticonvulsant (carbamazepine or valproate; n = 18). Patients receiving LTG were generally diagnosed as having bipolar II disorder, had experienced more depressive episodes but a lesser number of hospitalizations, and had better performance than the patients receiving carbamazepine or valproate on the verbal fluency task. A moderate effect size also suggests that both groups may differ on the immediate verbal memory test (California Verbal Learning Test). These preliminary results suggest a safer neurocognitive profile of LTG on bipolar patients, as compared with other anticonvulsants.
Bipolar Disorders Program, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.
Received July 6, 2005; accepted after revision January 4, 2006.
This research was funded by a Stanley Medical Research Institute Center grant.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Eduard Vieta, MD, PhD, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.