Mood disorders tied to poor visuospatial memory performance
Individuals with bipolar disorder and depression are likely to have lower visuospatial memory performance, which may partly be attributed to psychotropic medication use, a study has found.
The study used baseline data from the UK Biobank cohort and included 2,709 individuals with bipolar disorder and 102,931 matched controls, as well as 50,975 individuals with major depression and 105,284 matched controls.
Researchers evaluated reasoning, reaction time and memory, as well as the magnitude of the effect that was explained by potentially modifiable intermediate factors such as cardiometabolic disease and psychotropic medication.
Results for visuospatial memory performance revealed small between-group differences. Z-score differences were in the range of –0.23 to –0.17 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], –0.39 to –0.03) for the bipolar disorder group across different estimation methods, and were approximately –0.07 (95 percent CI, –0.10 to –0.03) for the major depression group.
Mediation analysis showed that one-quarter of the effect was explained by psychotropic medication in the bipolar disorder group (–0.05, 95 percent CI, –0.09 to –0.01), whereas no evidence was found via cardiometabolic disease.
The findings point to psychotropic medications as potential modifiable causes of cognitive impairment in patients with mood disorders, the researchers said.