SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • bipolar disorder;
  • elderly;
  • cognition

Abstract

Background

Very little is known about the long term cognitive sequelae of bipolar disorder.

Aim

To investigate neuropsychological functioning in older euthymic persons with early onset bipolar disorder.

Method

Fifteen older patients (age >60) with an early onset (<50 years) bipolar-I disorder in a euthymic mood were tested using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. Neuropsychological functioning was compared with that of a sex, age and education-matched group of 15 comparison subjects without mood disorders or memory complaints.

Results

Bipolar subjects scored lower than comparison subjects on selective attention, verbal memory, verbal fluency and mental effort tests.

Conclusions

The findings suggest that euthymic bipolar patients are impaired across a range of cognitive domains. This could represent a trait-like cognitive disability related to the disease, as the impairments are comparable with those found in younger bipolar patients. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.