Bipolar disorder comorbid with alcohol use disorder: Focus on neurocognitive correlates
Balanzá Martínez, Vicent
Crespo Facorro, Benedicto
González Pinto Arrillaga, Ana María
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Frontiers in Physiology 6: (2015) // Article Number 108
Bipolar disorder (BD) and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are usually comorbid, and both have been associated with significant neurocognitive impairment. Patients with the BD-AUD comorbidity (dual diagnosis) may have more severe neurocognitive deficits than those with a single diagnosis, but there is paucity of research in this area. To explore this hypothesis more thoroughly, we carried out a systematic literature review through January 2015. Eight studies have examined the effect of AUDs on the neurocognitive functioning of BD patients. Most studies found that BD patients with current or past history of comorbid AUDs show more severe impairments, especially in verbal memory and executive cognition, than their non-dual counterparts. Greater neurocognitive dysfunction is another facet of this severe comorbid presentation. Implications for clinical practice and research are discussed. Specifically, the application of holistic approaches, such as clinical staging and systems biology, may open new avenues of discoveries related to the BD-AUD comorbidity.