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The Significance of Psychosis in BD, Schizophrenia

Bipolar Disord; ePub 2018 May 18; Bowie, et al

The presence of active psychosis is an important cross‐diagnostic factor in cognition and functioning in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD), according to a recent study. A total of 633 participants with BD-I, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder were recruited for a study on the genetics of cognition and functioning in BD and schizophrenia. Participants were classified into 5 groups: BD with current psychosis (n=30), BD with a history of psychosis (n=162), BD with no history of psychosis (n=92), schizophrenia with current psychosis (n= 245), and schizophrenia with past psychosis (n=104). Researchers found:

  • Cognitive profiles of all groups were similar in pattern; however, both current psychosis and a diagnosis of schizophrenia were associated with greater impairment.
  • Schizophrenia with current psychosis was also associated with a superimposed severe impairment in processing speed.
  • Both psychosis and schizophrenia diagnosis were associated with poorer functional competence.
  • Individuals with BD and schizophrenia experienced similar impairments in real‐world functioning if they were experiencing current psychosis.


Bowie CR, Best, MW, Depp C, et al. Cognitive and functional deficits in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as a function of the presence and history of psychosis. [Published online ahead of print May 18, 2018]. Bipolar Disord. doi:10.1111/bdi.12654.