Subjective perception of cognition is related to mood and not performance

S. E. Marino, K. J. Meador, D. W. Loring, M. S. Okun, H. H. Fernandez, A. J. Fessler, R. P. Kustra, J. M. Miller, P. G. Ray, A. Roy, M. R. Schoenberg, V. J. Vahle, M. A. Werz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Objective: Clinicians monitor cognitive effects of drugs primarily by asking patients to describe their side effects. We examined the relationship of subjective perception of cognition to mood and objective cognitive performance in healthy volunteers and neurological patients. Methods: Three separate experiments used healthy adults treated with lamotrigine (LTG) and topiramate (TPM), adults with epilepsy on LTG or TPM, and patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Correlations were calculated for change scores on and off drugs in the first two experiments and for the single assessment in Experiment 3. Results: Across all three experiments, significant correlations were more frequent (χ2 = 259, P ≤ 0.000) for mood versus subjective cognitive perception (59%) compared with subjective versus objective cognition (2%) and mood versus objective cognitive performance (2%). Conclusions: Subjective perception of cognitive effects is related more to mood than objective performance. Clinicians should be aware of this relationship when assessing patients' cognitive complaints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-464
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The following people performed statistical analyses: Experiment 1 (healthy volunteers)—co-author V.J. Vahle while at Washington University, St. Louis; Experiment 2 (patients with epilepsy)—A.E. Hammer, Biomedical Data Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline; Experiment 3 (Parkinson’s disease)—co-author A. Roy while at the University of Florida. This work was also supported by the Center of Excellence grant from the National Parkinson Foundation and the UF INFORM-PD database. Though the actual research reported in this paper was not supported by NIH, I was being supported by an NIH grant (100% effort) via a Career Development Award (K01) during the time that I wrote the paper.

Funding Information:
Data from prior studies funded by GlaxoSmithKline and the INFORM PD Database, National Parkinson Foundation of Excellence, were used.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Cognition
  • Depression
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Quality of life


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