Distinguishing patterns of impairment on inhibitory control and general cognitive ability among bipolar with and without psychosis, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder

Milena Y. Gotra, Scot K. Hill, Elliot S. Gershon, Carol A. Tamminga, Elena I. Ivleva, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Brett A. Clementz, Jennifer E. McDowell, Peter F. Buckley, John A. Sweeney, Sarah K. Keedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Deficits in inhibitory control on a Stop Signal Task (SST) were previously observed to be of similar magnitude across schizophrenia, schizoaffective, and bipolar disorder with psychosis, despite variation in general cognitive ability. Understanding different patterns of performance on the SST may elucidate different pathways to the impaired inhibitory control each group displayed. Comparing nonpsychotic bipolar disorder to the psychosis groups on SST may also expand our understanding of the shared neurobiology of this illness spectrum. Methods: We tested schizophrenia (n = 220), schizoaffective (n = 216), bipolar disorder with (n = 192) and without psychosis (n = 67), and 280 healthy comparison participants with a SST and the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS), a measure of general cognitive ability. Results: All patient groups had a similar degree of impaired inhibitory control over prepotent responses. However, bipolar groups differed from schizophrenia and schizoaffective groups in showing speeded responses and inhibition errors that were not accounted for by general cognitive ability. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective groups had a broader set of deficits on inhibition and greater general cognitive deficit, which fully accounted for the inhibition deficits. No differences were found between the clinically well-matched bipolar with and without psychosis groups, including for inhibitory control or general cognitive ability. Conclusions: We conclude that 1) while impaired inhibitory control on a SST is of similar magnitude across the schizo-bipolar spectrum, including nonpsychotic bipolar, different mechanisms may underlie the impairments, and 2) history of psychosis in bipolar disorder does not differentially impact inhibitory behavioral control or general cognitive abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume223
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Response inhibition
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stop Signal Task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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