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Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Apr;161(4):736-8.

Cognitive functioning in late-life bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Information Research Center for Late-Life Mood Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15213, USA.



This study characterized cognitive functioning in elderly patients with bipolar disorder.


The cognitive functioning of 18 euthymic patients with a history of bipolar disorder I or II, ages 60 years and older, was tested with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale, and the Executive Interview. Cognitive functioning in these subjects was compared with that of an age- and education-matched group of 45 comparison subjects without mood disorders.


Approximately half of the bipolar subjects scored one or more standard deviations below the mean of the comparison subjects on the MMSE (N=8, 44%) and the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale total (N=10, 56%). On the Executive Interview, three subjects (17%) scored between one and two standard deviations below the mean of the comparison subjects.


A significant proportion of older bipolar subjects exhibited neuropsychological deficits when they were clinically euthymic.

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