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Acta Neurológica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-8748


BEDOYA-TOVAR, Mercy; PINEDA, David A  and  AGUIRRE-ACEVEDO, Daniel C. Impaired attention and executive function in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. Acta Neurol Colomb. [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.2, pp.84-96. ISSN 0120-8748.

Introduction. Accurate description of neuropsychological characteristics of children with affective bipolar disorder (BPD) ha been difficult because the diagnostic validity and the confusion with attention deficit/ hyperactive disorder (ADHD), has limited the accurate description of its neuropsychological characteristics. Objective. To determine the neuropsychological characteristics of children and adolescents, aged 6 to 16 years, with BPD type I (without ADHD comorbidity), compared with a control group without BPD neither ADHD, which were matched by sex and age, from Medellín-Colombia. Materials and methods. A cross-sectional study was designed, selected 41 children and adolescents, which were assigned to two groups: BPDs (n = 20; age: 11 ± 2,7), and controls (n = 21, age 11.4 ± 2.53). 15 participants were males, in each group. Neuropsychological tasks to assess attention, memory and executive function (EF) were administered. Non parametric comparisons between groups were done. Results. BPD group showed statistically significant poorer performances (p< 0,001) in tasks related with attention a EF. Effect sizes of the variables with statistic significant differences were larger to huge (> 0,7). Conclusions. Findings suggest that children and adolescents with BPD (without ADHD comorbidity) have some kind deficiency in prefrontal circuitries functioning, related to inhibitory control and cognitive organization.

Keywords : Adolescent; Attention; Bipolar Disorder; Executive Function.

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