Deconstructing Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia: A cross-diagnostic cluster analysis of cognitive phenotypes

Junghee Lee, Shemra Rizzo, Lori Altshuler, David C. Glahn, David J. Miklowitz, Catherine A. Sugar, Jonathan K. Wynn, Michael F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background Bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SZ) show substantial overlap. It has been suggested that a subgroup of patients might contribute to these overlapping features. This study employed a cross-diagnostic cluster analysis to identify subgroups of individuals with shared cognitive phenotypes. Method 143 participants (68 BD patients, 39 SZ patients and 36 healthy controls) completed a battery of EEG and performance assessments on perception, nonsocial cognition and social cognition. A K-means cluster analysis was conducted with all participants across diagnostic groups. Clinical symptoms, functional capacity, and functional outcome were assessed in patients. Results A two-cluster solution across 3 groups was the most stable. One cluster including 44 BD patients, 31 controls and 5 SZ patients showed better cognition (High cluster) than the other cluster with 24 BD patients, 35 SZ patients and 5 controls (Low cluster). BD patients in the High cluster performed better than BD patients in the Low cluster across cognitive domains. Within each cluster, participants with different clinical diagnoses showed different profiles across cognitive domains. Limitations All patients are in the chronic phase and out of mood episode at the time of assessment and most of the assessment were behavioral measures. Conclusions This study identified two clusters with shared cognitive phenotype profiles that were not proxies for clinical diagnoses. The finding of better social cognitive performance of BD patients than SZ patients in the Lowe cluster suggest that relatively preserved social cognition may be important to identify disease process distinct to each disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Support for this study came from National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH043292 and MH089634 (PI: Michael F. Green, PhD).

FundersFunder number
National Institute of Mental HealthMH089634, R01MH043292


    • Bipolar disorder
    • Cluster analysis
    • Nonsocial cognition
    • Social cognition
    • schizophrenia


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