Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 182
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825433

Neuropsychological deficits and long-term outcomes in patients with affective disorders

M Majer 1, S Modell 1, F Holsboer 1, J Zihl 1
  • 1Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany

Affective disorders are often associated with neuropsychological alterations (1). There is evidence for a worse recovery rate and a higher risk for relapse and

recurrence of affective symptoms for patients with residual cognitive

dysfunctions after remission of affective disorder (2). In a preceding study, as part of the MARS-project, we found a relationship between

neuropsychological dysfunctions (impaired divided attention) at discharge and an elevated risk to relapse during a follow-up period of six months. Unfortunately, only n=19 patients could be reinvestigated during this follow-up period. In

order to gain more empirical evidence on this issue, we investigate the long-term outcome (six months, one and two years after discharge) of a greater patient sample. We test the hypothesis that neuropsychological deficits predict early relapse and recurrence as well as chronicity of affective symptoms. These patients should also be characterised by a longer lifetime duration of illness.

Zihl J. et al. Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and affective disorders: evidence

for a final comman pathway disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, 1998: 97: 351–357.

(2) Alexopoulos G.S, et al. Executive dysfunction and long-term outcome of geriatric depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2000: 57: 285–290.