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Bipolar Disord. 2012 Nov;14(7):749-55. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12000. Epub 2012 Sep 21.

Cognitive decline in elderly bipolar disorder patients: a follow-up study.

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  • 1GGZ inGeest, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Older individuals with bipolar disorder may exhibit greater cognitive decline over time compared to mentally healthy elderly individuals. We aimed to investigate neurocognitive performance in bipolar disorder over a period of two years.


A comprehensive neuropsychological test battery was applied at baseline and two years later to 65 euthymic elderly outpatients with bipolar disorder (mean age = 68.35, range: 60-90 years) and to a demographically comparable sample of 42 healthy elderly controls. A general linear model was used to measure changes over time for the two groups. The impact of baseline illness characteristics on intra-individual change in neurocognitive performance within the bipolar group was studied by using logistic regression analysis.


At baseline and at follow up, bipolar disorder patients performed worse on all neurocognitive measures compared to the healthy elderly group. However, there was no significant group-by-time interaction between the bipolar disorder patients and the comparison group.


Although older bipolar disorder patients have worse cognitive function than normal controls, they did not have greater cognitive decline over a period of two years.

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