Neurococognitive and neuroimaging correlates of obesity and components of metabolic syndrome in bipolar disorder: a systematic review

BORA İ. E., McIntyre R. S., Ozerdem A.

PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE, vol.49, no.5, pp.738-749, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0033291718003008
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.738-749
  • Keywords: Bipolar disorder, cognition, hypertension, meta-analysis, metabolic syndrome, MRI, obesity, systematic review, BODY-MASS INDEX, WHITE-MATTER VOLUME, ULTRA-HIGH-RISK, COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT, DIABETES-MELLITUS, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, EUTHYMIC PATIENTS, GLOBAL MOOD, WEIGHT-LOSS, METAANALYSIS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background Individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) have a higher prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) compared with the general population. Obesity and MetS are associated with cognitive deficits and brain imaging abnormalities in the general population. Obesity and components of MetS might potentially associate with neuroimaging and neurocognitive findings in BD. Methods A literature search of studies investigating the association between obesity (and other components of MetS) and neurocognitive and neuroimaging findings in BD was conducted. In addition to a systematic review, a random-effects meta-analysis was conducted when sufficient data were available. Results Twenty-three studies were included in the current systematic review. Overweight/obese patients were significantly associated with impaired neurocognition compared normal weight individuals with BD (d = 0.37). The most robust association between obesity and cognitive deficits in BD was observed in the cognitive subdomain of executive functions (d = 0.61). There was also evidence for a significant relationship between cognitive impairment in BD and other components of MetS including hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. Overweight/obese individuals with BD had more pronounced brain imaging abnormalities than normal weight individuals with BD. Conclusions Obesity and related cardiovascular risk factors significantly are associated with more severe cognitive and brain imaging abnormalities in BD. Medical co-morbidities can potentially contribute to functional decline observed in some patients throughout the course of BD.