The P300 event-related potential in bipolar disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Affect Disord. 2019 Sep 1:256:234-249. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.06.010. Epub 2019 Jun 4.


Background: Neurophysiology including P300, that is a typical index of event-related potential, may be potential biomarkers for bipolar disorder (BD) and it can be useful towards elucidating the pathophysiology of BD. However, previous findings from P300 studies were inconsistent due to the heterogeneity of research methods, which make it difficult to understand the neurobiological significance of them. The aim of this study is to conduct a meta-analysis on P300 in patients with BD.

Method: A literature search was conducted using PubMed to identify studies that compared P300 event-related potential between patients with BD and healthy controls (HCs). We analyzed P300 indices such as amplitude and latency of P3a and P3b in auditory or visual paradigms. Further, moderator analyses were conducted to investigate the influence of patient characteristics (i.e. history of psychosis, diagnostic subcategories [BD-I/BD-II], and phase of illness [euthymic, manic, or depressive]) on P300 indices.

Result: Out of 124 initial records, we included 30 articles (BD: N = 1331; HCs: N = 1818). Patients with BD showed reduced P3a and P3b amplitude in both paradigms and delayed P3b latency in auditory paradigms compared to HCs. There was no influence on the history of psychosis, diagnostic subcategories, or phase of illness on P300 indices.

Limitation: The difference in medication use was difficult to control and it may affect the results.

Conclusion: This meta-analysis provides evidence for P300 abnormalities in patients with BD compared to HCs. Our results suggest that P300 may be trait markers rather than state markers in this illness.

Keywords: Biological markers; Bipolar disorder; Cognition; EEG/Event-related potentials; Electrophysiology.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Biomarkers