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Does Bipolar Cause Memory Loss

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If Youre Experiencing Forgetfulness Or Confusion Check Your Medicine Cabinet

BPD What cause MEMORY loss? TRAUMA INDUCED DISSOCIATION | Bipolar Barbie I Bipolar Barbie

by Dr. Armon B. Neel, Jr., February 9, 2016| 0

For a long time doctors dismissed;forgetfulness;and mental confusion as a normal part of aging. But scientists now know that;memory loss;as you get older is by no means inevitable. Indeed, the brain can grow new brain cells and reshape their connections throughout life.Most people are familiar with at least some of the things that can impair memory, including alcohol and drug abuse, heavy cigarette smoking, head injuries, stroke, sleep deprivation, severe stress, vitamin B12 deficiency, and illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

But what many people don’t realize is that many commonly prescribed drugs also can interfere with memory. Here are 10 of the top types of offenders.

Bipolar And The Brain

Researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School and Depression Center conducted tests, which required periods of sustained cognitive concentration by the subjects, as well as brain scans on a large sampling of people who had experienced either major depression or bipolar disorder. Compared with the results of the same tests conducted on a sampling of people who had no diagnosed mental health conditions, both the depression and bipolar sufferers fared notably poorer.

Then, when reviewing the brain scans, the researchers found that those suffering from both depression and bipolar disorder had markedly different levels of activity in the right posterior parietal cortex, the region of the brain that is responsible for executive function activities such as working memory, problem solving and reasoning. Compared with the healthy subjects, the depressives showed higher activity in this area of the brain, while those with bipolar registered markedly less brain activity.

In all, we show a shared cognitive dysfunction in with mood disorders, which were pronounced in the cognitive control tests and more nuanced in scans, says neuropsychologist Dr Kelly Ryan, lead author of the study, which was published in Brain Magazine.

Senior study author, Dr Scott Langenecker, added that the neurobiological results of the study are a recognition that mental diseases have more overlap in the basic brain and genetic signatures than were at first assumed.

Can You Be Hypomanic Without Losing Control

Hypomania and mania also generate a broad range of cognitive alterations. Racing thought is a common experience during mood elevation, and the consequence of accelerated thought can again manifest as faulty memory and impaired focus. The individuals thought content progresses so rapidly that it becomes difficult to hold onto specific thoughts or to maintain clear awareness of what he thought only a few minutes ago.

In addition to racing thoughts, an unusually large volume of thoughts can flood a persons awareness during hypomanic/manic states. Too much happening concurrently in ones consciousness makes it difficult to select or to prioritize effective responses. The hypomanic/manic individual may find that everything feels important, while concurrently new and even more important thoughts keep emerging. The experience is that of excessive mental activity and the consequence becomes manifest through behavioral responses that are poorly planned, prioritized, and executed.

There are multiple other examples of moods impact upon cognition, but at this point, it should be clear that the polarities of mood elevation and depression have an adverse impact upon memory, focus, thinking, and planning. This should come as no surprise. In fact, it would be more surprising if mood intensity had little to no bearing upon cognition.

Lets shift now to some of more pragmatic implications of what Ive been saying.

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Bipolar Disorder And False And Displaced Memories

  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

There is a concept in psychoogy called confabulation where two similar memories become combined into one memory but with lots of distortions. This does not happen voluntarily and is, in fact, very common. Therefore, it is possible that your son has confabulated or combined his memories of his father with those of his stepfather.

Good luck to you.

Treatment For Memory Attention And Concentration Problems

Does ECT Cause Bipolar Memory Loss?

As is the case for many mental illnesses, early treatment is important to limit the long-term cognitive damage of bipolar disorder. Luckily, you can attack the threats to your psyche with several approaches:


Experts recommend psychoeducation to learn how to spot the warning signs of manic episodes, and learn coping skills to control the mania when it hits. Additionally, cognitive behavioural therapy can be a good replacement or supplement to antidepressant medication: while some antidepressants can bring dangerous side effects, there is little chance that CBT will harm the mind, personality or quality of life.

Targeted Medication

Evidence suggests that the mania in bipolar disorder could be related to a chemical problem in the brain, which means that it can be treated with the appropriate medications for bipolar disorder. Research continues to show that certain other antipsychotics that show promise, and reveal those that might cause more cognitive dysfunction.

Cognitive Rehabilitation

This is the process of relearning cognitive skills that have been lost, and it makes use of four different types of training: developing awareness of the problem, process training, strategy training and functional activities training. The aim is to resolve the problem, and compensate for the symptoms when resolution isnt possible.

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Schizoaffective And Memory Loss

Schizoaffective is known to cause severe memory loss, and researchers have determined that a pattern of brain activity may be the first sign of memory problems. Scientists have long believed that memory problems in schizoaffective stem from disruptions in the brains dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

It is an area of our brain that plays a role in memory. It temporarily stores and manages information that is required to carry out cognitive tasks, but research has researchers in a different direction. They still have not determined a cause.

One of the most troubling and disturbing aspects of schizoaffective is how it affects memory. Every conscious thought and act we possess is based on our ability to remember past events. Disturbance in cognitive ability is likely to bring about dysfunction in daily activities, and memory deficit is the key area of impairment in those struggling with schizoaffective.

Surprising Physical Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

Because bipolar disorder is considered a mental illness most people focus on how mentally taxing the ups and downs of manic and depressive episodes can be. It may also be common for people to talk about the signs and symptoms, and not what it actually feels like to go through them.

But the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be just as physical as they are mental. And sometimes, the different categories of symptoms intertwine.

Thats why we asked our Mighty mental health community living with bipolar disorder to tell us some surprising physical symptoms of bipolar disorder theyve experienced. Because by talking about everything that bipolar disorder entails, we can continue to deepen our understanding of it.

Here is what they had to say:

1. Memory loss. Ive done things during a manic episode that I dont remember later, wondering how I got to whatever place Im in. Shannon D.

2. Akathisia. Imagine being in a lecture and becoming really antsy, and you start bouncing your leg. Now imagine being so agitated, you have to bounce or shake your entire body to try to relieve the discomfort. And not for just an hour, for multiple on end, sometimes days. It feels like Im literally trapped in my own skin, and the only way out is to rip it open or peel it off. Meghan G.

6. Mind going a million miles per hour but your body is so exhausted that you cant move. Feels like a marathon just to lift your arms to brush you hair, if you even get that far that day. Kaytlynn J.

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Daily Cognitive Difficulties With Bipolar

Attentionthe ability to focus on a task or conversation, tune out distractions, and, ultimately, filter information into working memoryis the gateway to learning, memory and other higher cognitive processes, says Frederick Goodwin, MD, a leading clinical researcher on bipolar disorder who is now based at George Washington University.

All of those functions can go haywire during depression and mania, of course. In fact, manic symptoms can mimic attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .

On the other hand, ADHD occurs at rates substantially greater than the general population in individuals with bipolar and major depressive disorder, according to researchers with the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments.

Their treatment recommendations, published in the February 2012 issue of the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, note the importance of accurate diagnosis and careful pharmacotherapy, since some ADHD medications can trigger mania. Mood stabilization should come first, they write, before addressing ADHD symptoms.

But what about scattered attention, memory glitches and other cognitive deficits that practitioners never hear about from their patients with bipolar?

Goodwin notes a change in thinking since Manic-Depressive Illness, the now-classic textbook he wrote with Kay Redfield Jamison, came out in 1990. Not more than a decade ago, he says, professionals checked off a host of mood and behavioral symptoms and didnt pay much mind to cognitive factors.

Recognizing Hallucinations In Bipolar Disorder

Memory Loss & Brain Damage in Depression and Mania.

If you have bipolar disorder, hallucinations are most likely to happen during an extreme mood phase. Hallucinations tend to reflect the mood and may be accompanied by delusions. Delusions are false beliefs that a person strongly believes. An example of a delusion is believing that you have special godly powers.

During a depressive state, hallucinations and delusions may involve feelings of incompetency or powerlessness. In a manic state, they may make you feel empowered and overconfident, even invincible.

Hallucinations may be temporary or they may recur during depressive or manic episodes.

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Understanding Potential Changes In Cognition Associated With Bipolar Disorder

One of the more overlooked aspects of bipolar disorder is the potential for developing a degree of cognitive deficit as part of the illness. This omission reflects the reality that mainstream print medias portrayal of bipolar disorder mostly focuses upon the cycling of elevated and/or depressed moods which are the hallmark features of the disorder.

What we typically read are descriptions of mood elevation that reflect symptoms of high energy, lessened need for sleep, feelings of euphoria, grandiosity, impulsivity, elevated libido, etc. Similarly, on the depressed end of the mood spectrum, we read descriptions of low energy, low self-esteem, feelings of sadness, loss or emptiness, suicidal ideation, pervasive pessimism, low motivation, and all the other experiences we associate with feeling depressed.

Mood typically receives the bulk of our attention when it comes to descriptions and discussion of bipolar disorder; however, in my sessions with individuals living with the disorder, its common to hear concerns about their lessened cognitive capacities. To be more specific, Im referring to the experience of decreased cognitive capacity relative to the period of time before any sustained bipolar mood symptoms arrived on the scene.

Different Patterns Of Cognitive Processes In Each Mood Phase

The second objective of this review was to investigate if diverse BD mood would predict a different WM pattern. Updating deficits of visuospatial information were found in depressive BD patients assessed by n-back tasks and in mania phases . Despite WM alterations have been reported during mood episodes of BD, it is suggested that deficits in WM persist during remission of symptoms .

According to neurophysiological studies in euthymic phases of BD, patients presented lower prefrontal cortex activation during visuospatial n-back tasks . Mullin et al. , for example, found lower dorsal anterior cingulate cortex activity during EFNBACK task with neutral stimuli. In addition, depressive episodes in BD patients showed lower left dorsal anterior midcingulate cortex activation during visuospatial n-back task with neutral stimuli . In contrast, a different brain activation pattern was reported during n-back tasks with emotional auditory-verbal stimuli. Such as greater left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and dACC activation were found when negative valence stimuli were presented . Therefore, it was suggested that updating was influenced by emotional factors.

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What Causes Dissociative Amnesia

Dissociative amnesia has been linked to overwhelming stress, which might be the result of traumatic events — such as war, abuse, accidents, or disasters — that the person has experienced or witnessed. There also might be a genetic link to the development of dissociative disorders, including dissociative amnesia, because people with these disorders sometimes have close relatives who have had similar conditions.

Cognitive Deficits And Neurobiological Correlates In Bd Patients

Does ECT Cause Bipolar Memory Loss?

Regarding the first aim of this review, statistically significant differences in WM performance between groups were found in most studies . These results confirm that BD patients tend to have lower WM performance . According to our review both modalities are disrupted, deficits in auditory-verbal information processing were reported in six selected articles and visuospatial low scores in five other studies . Our analysis also showed that the effect sizes of the studies that reported deficit on BD patients on several measures of working memory were small, either on updating or maintenance measures. These effect sizes were 0.33, 0.39, and 0.41, respectively, for updating visuospatial information, processing of visuospatial information, and processing of auditory verbal information. Together with results reported on the papers that showed neurobiological changes of BD patients during the experiments, these results clearly conclude that BD affects both working memory performance and brain functioning.

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Complicated Causes Of Neurocognitive Concerns With Bipolar

The fact that neurocognitive problems linger after symptoms subsideand can be present before a bipolar diagnosis is mademakes scientists think that these disturbances are a core and consistent feature of the illness.

A Canadian study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in September 2010 found that attention, recall, and several aspects of executive functioning were compromised even at onset of the first manic episode.

Researchers are trying to learn more about what areas of the brain are vulnerable to the disease process and what role the course of illness plays.

Moira A. Rynn, MD, an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, is involved in a multi-center study on pharmacological treatment for adolescents that includes a detailed cognitive battery given at baseline and again every two years.

Rynn says it can be difficult to assess cognitive impairment in a snapshot evaluation because individuals come with their own set of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. A longitudinal study such as she is doing can reveal whether each participants learning difficulties get better or worse, and shed light on why.

There is a need to do careful standardized assessments over time, controlling for the type of treatments given, she says. We do need to know whether the severity and frequency of episodes make cognitive problems more severe, and what is the impact of medication treatment over time.

Do Both Dementia And Bipolar Disorder Cause Psychosis And Hallucinations

Yes, they can. Brain changes caused by dementia can result in dementia psychosis, hallucinations, and delusions. These are common in frontal lobe dementia and Lewy body dementia, especially in the later stages of the disease. Hallucinations and delusions may also occur in the later stages of Alzheimers disease. Psychosis is uncommon in bipolar disorder, but some people may experience delusions and auditory hallucinations.

Generally, if an individual with bipolar disorder experiences auditory hallucinations or psychosis, they are given a diagnosis of;bipolar disorder with psychotic features. Psychosis and hallucinations are more likely to happen during a manic phase. While hallucinations can involve any of the five senses, auditory hallucinations are the most common form in both dementia and bipolar disorder.

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How Is Schizoaffective Treated

Schizoaffective is viewed as a severe disorder. New medications for schizophrenia or other mood disorders, in conjunction with psychotherapy, have been proven effective in managing the condition. There have been more successful treatment options despite the lack of knowledge surrounding schizoaffective. Medication is prescribed by physicians to stabilize the extreme mood states and help with psychotic symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only one medication to treat the condition. Invega is an antipsychotic drug that can help someone reestablish a fulfilling life.

Written by: Christopher Schumacher

About Vista Pines Health: Vista Pines Health is a mental health treatment program that is dedicated to providing quality care to those who are suffering from mental disorders. Conveniently located in sunny Pembroke Pines, Florida, we help clients, from all over the country, find healing from conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. Our programs are designed to put the client first every step of the way, helping them conquer the struggles they deal with on a daily basis.

  • Schizoaffective Disorder. . Retrieved from
  • Abrams, D. J., Rojas, D. C., & Arciniegas, D. B. . Is schizoaffective disorder a distinct categorical diagnosis? A critical review of the literature. Retrieved from

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