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Research Article Open Access
Objective: The aim of the present study was to determine whether unipolar and bipolar depressive episodes differ with respect to reward sensitivity and decision making.
Methods: In the present study, 25 patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depressive episode (BD) and 25 patients with Major depressive disorder, recurrent (UD), according to DSM-IV, were investigated. Inclusion criteria were not initiating treatment for the present period and not using antipsychotics as preventive treatment. Iowa Gambling Task was used in order to eveluate reward sensitivity and decision making process. The severity of depressive period was evaluated with Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
Results: Overall score of IGT was found to be lower in BD group, than UD and healthy controls. HDRS scores are similar between patients with BD and UD. No relation could be shown between HDRS and IGT net scores in two depressive groups. If we consider and compare IGT scores separately for each of the five steps of the test, according to posthoc analysis results, at the first step (pre-punishment) no difference was found between BD and UD groups and healthy controls. At the second step (pre-hunch), in BD group obtained lower scores than UD group and healthy controls (BD(BD<UD=HC and BD<UD=HC).
Conclusion: Impairment in reward sensitivity and risk associated decision making processes is more pronounced in bipolar patients.
Reward sensitivity, Decision making, Bipolar depression, Unipolar depression, Depression