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Cognition in severe mental illness: Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression 

Cognition in severe mental illness: Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression
Cognition in severe mental illness: Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression

Philip D. Harvey

and Christopher R. Bowie

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date: 24 September 2021

Impairments in a variety of cognitive domains have been detected across schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. These include problems with concentration and attention, learning and memory, reasoning and problem-solving, and processing speed. Disability in everyday functioning is associated with cognitive deficits in all severe mental illnesses and contributes at least as much to disability as symptoms. Cognitive impairments are quite temporally stable in people with schizophrenia and are commonly present in patients with bipolar disorder. Residual impairments in patients with major depression are present in fewer individuals than for bipolar disorder but as many as a third of patients have residual disability. Severity of impairment is typically greater in schizophrenia than bipolar disorder and major depression, although there is limited evidence of differences in profiles of impairments. Treatments for cognitive impairments are not well developed to date, but both pharmacological and remediation based treatments are being investigated.

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