Initial evidence for sex-specific effects of early emotional abuse on affective processing in bipolar disorder
Purpose: This study investigates the effect of sex and childhood trauma on affective processing in bipolar disorder (BPD) patients. Methods: In a sample of fifty-six BPD patients, we administered the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), and the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the Affective Go/No-Go (AGNG) to measure affective processing. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate the effect of sex and childhood trauma on IGT; Repeated-Measures ANOVAs to measure accuracy and bias measures across conditions on the AGNG. Results: In the context of childhood abuse, females evidenced a more conservative cognitive style than males by selecting fewer cards from the disadvantageous decks [F(1, 49) = 14.218; P < 0.001] and showed an improvement throughout the task, as noted in a normal learning curve [F(1.49) = 4.385; P = 0.041)]. For the AGNG, an interaction specific to the negative valence stimuli on response bias measures was found. Abused females scored higher (mean = 8.38; SD = 6.39) than abused males (mean = 0.69; SD = 1.19) [F(1.46) = 6.348; P = 0.015]. Conclusion: Severity of childhood trauma was significantly different between sexes. In the context of a history of emotional abuse, male bipolar patients tended toward a more risk-taking behavior compared to female. Further investigations are needed to elucidate potential pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this interaction. (C) 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
School of Medicine