Women diagnosed with bipolar or depression did not perform as well on tests measuring the ability to “sustain attention and respond quickly,” according to a study in Brain. “Fuzzy thinking episodes” are “real signs” of bipolar and depression, reported Medical Daily. Though it was not mentioned in the abstract, press release or most news articles about the study, most of the women were taking psychotropics.
According to the press release, the findings from University of Michigan Medical School and Depression Center researchers showed that this “fuzzy thinking” was “rooted in brain activity differences that show up on advanced brain scans.” Because both diagnostic groups had on average higher levels of “fuzzy thinking” relative to controls, the researchers said that this evidence suggested commonalities between depression and bipolar that “could transform the way doctors and patients think about, diagnose and treat them.”
In a table in the study, the authors identified that 63.3% of the women diagnosed with depression and 84.9% of those with bipolar were taking psychotropics at the time. The study did not provide separate results or discussion concerning the medicated and unmedicated people.
Ryan, Kelly A., Erica L. Dawson, Michelle T. Kassel, Anne L. Weldon, David F. Marshall, Kortni K. Meyers, Laura B. Gabriel, et al. “Shared Dimensions of Performance and Activation Dysfunction in Cognitive Control in Females with Mood Disorders.” Brain 138, no. 5 (May 1, 2015): 1424–34. doi:10.1093/brain/awv070. (Abstract and full text)
‘Fuzzy thinking’ in depression and bipolar disorder: New research finds effect is real (University of Michigan Health System press release on MedicalXpress, May 4, 2015)
‘Fuzzy Thinking’ Episodes Are Real Signs Of Depression, Bipolar Disorder: Study (Medical Daily, May 5, 2015)