Stable and state-dependent impulsivity in bipolar disorder   [presentation, ppt, 949 kB]

Milavec M., Šprah L.
First author's affiliation: Sociomedical Institute at SRC SASA, Ljubljana, Slovenia

One of prominent and measurable characteristic of Bipolar disorder is impulsivity which may have both stable and state-dependent aspects. Emotional modulation of cognitive control, which is state-depended aspect of impulsivity, has been reported as attentional bias to positive and negative information. The present study aimed to determine whether emotional valence of stimulus influences cognitive control in bipolar patients compared to healthy individuals and whether there is an interaction between stable and state-dependent aspect of impulsivity in bipolar disorder. We compared 39 bipolar outpatients and 38 healthy individuals, matched for age, gender and years of education. All participants completed Baratt Impulsiveness Scale 11 (BIS-11) and computer administered Affective Go/No-Go Task (including pictures of negative, positive and neutral emotional valence taken from International Affective Picture System). On Affective Go/No-Go Task bipolar outpatients demonstrated longer reaction times to emotional stimuli and more errors on global score in compare to the control group, especially in negative and neutral contexts and when the targets were pictures with neutral emotional valence. Global score on BIS-11 indicated that bipolar outpatients had higher levels of trait impulsivity than healthy individuals. Bipolar patients with heightened levels of trait impulsivity also underestimated stimuli with positive emotional valence and tended towards underestimation of stimuli with negative emotional valence. These data suggest that patients with bipolar disorder have poorer control of cognitive inhibition than healthy subjects, probable due to increased levels of impulsivity and other associated cognitive impairments. We confirmed that emotional valence of stimulus influences cognitive control in bipolar patients compared to healthy subjects and that there is an interaction between stable and state-dependent aspect of impulsivity in bipolar disorder.