Social cognition in first-degree relatives of bipolar disorder: Theory of Mind and nonverbal sensitivity

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,579 words
Lexile Measure: 1430L

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Abstract :

Social cognition might be impaired in first degree relatives (FDR) of BD but existing research shows controversial results about social cognitive impairments in this population. The aim of this study was to assess Theory of Mind (ToM) and nonverbal sensitivity in FDR of BD and compare the results with those of two groups of persons with remitted bipolar disorder (BD), type I and II, and a control group. Social cognitive ability was examined in first degree relatives of BD, with a biological parent, offspring or sibling diagnosed with the disorder. For this study, 37 FDRs of bipolar patients, 37 BD I, 40 BD II and 40 control participants were recruited. Social cognition was explored by means of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the MiniPONS. Results showed a significant impairment in FDR of BD in the ToM task, but not in nonverbal sensitivity. Performance of FDRs in social cognition is better than that of BDs (either type I or type II) but worse when compared with that of healthy individuals without a family history of psychiatric disorders. Nevertheless, no differences were found between BD I and BD II groups. Males and older participants showed a worse performance in all groups. Group family therapy with FDRs of BD might include training in the recognition of nonverbal cues, which might increase the understanding of their familiars with BD, in order to modify communication abilities.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A653565890