A 12-week open-label pilot study of donepezil for cognitive functioning and instrumental activities of daily living in late-life bipolar disorder

Authors

  • Ariel G. Gildengers,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Advanced Center for Intervention and Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    • 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
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  • Meryl A. Butters,

    1. The Advanced Center for Intervention and Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Denise Chisholm,

    1. Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Charles F. Reynolds,

    III
    1. The Advanced Center for Intervention and Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Benoit H. Mulsant

    1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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Abstract

Objective

To determine whether donepezil is effective in enhancing cognitive functioning and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) in older adults with bipolar disorder.

Methods

Twelve elderly patients with bipolar I or II disorder, with evidence of mild cognitive decrements, were administered donepezil 5–10 mg daily for 3 months. Participants had cognitive and functional evaluation pre-, on-, and 3-months post donepezil administration.

Results

Three subjects dropped out of the study. In the remaining nine subjects, no significant effects were observed in cognitive and functional measures. Seven of the nine participants asked to resume the medication after completion of the study because of the perceived beneficial effects.

Conclusions

In this small pilot study of older adults with bipolar disorder, acute treatment with donepezil was not associated with improvements in cognitive and IADL functioning. Given limitations of the study design, placebo effects could not be ruled out in the subjects who asked to resume donepezil. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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