Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of agpsychBioMed Centralbiomed central web sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleAnnals of General Psychiatry
Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2010; 9(Suppl 1): S174.
Published online 2010 April 22. doi:  10.1186/1744-859X-9-S1-S174
PMCID: PMC2991863

Cognitive profile in middle-aged and older bipolar patients


Cognitive deficits are reported in euthymic and acute phases of bipolar disorder(BD) [1]. However, only few studies have previously evaluated the cognitive profile of middle-aged and older patients affected by BD [2,3]. The main purpose of our study was to analyze the cognitive profile of bipolar patients aged between 45 and 70 years.

Materials and methods

36 patients with BD (DSM IV-TR) (25 with BD-I and 11 with BD-II) who complained a recent onset of cognitive deficits, were recruited from 2004 to 2009 at the Psychiatric Day-Hospital service of the University Medical School "Federico II". All patients underwent a comprehensive Neuropsychological assessment, focusing on short- and long-term mnesic and executive functions.

A control group was composed by 37 outpatients (45-70 years), followed by the Neuropsychological service for recent outbreaks of cognitive disorders. Exclusion criteria for the control group were psychiatric or neurodegenerative disease as well as cranial trauma.


No statistically significant differences were found between the study population and the control group with respect to the neuro-cognitive profile, even though patients affected by BD-I showed poorer performance in the executive functions, in the oral span and in the logical abstractive skills, when compared to the ones affected by BD-II and to the control-group patients.


Greater focus should be put on cognitive aspects of BD: in particular, in our sample, patients affected by BD-I seem to have a more severe cognitive profile compared with BD-II patients. Further investigations, hopefully with larger samples, are desirable to confirm these findings.


  • Goldberg JF, Burdick KE. Cognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder, a guide for clinicians. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc; 2008.
  • Silva D, Santana I, Simoes do Couto F, Maroco J, Guerreiro M, de Mendonça A. Cognitive deficits in middle-aged and older adults with bipolar disorder and cognitive complaints: Comparison with mild cognitive impairment. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009;24:624–631. doi: 10.1002/gps.2166. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Delaloye C, Moy G, Baudois S, de Bilbao F, Dubois Remund C, Hofer F, Ragno Paquier C, Campos L, Weber K, Gold G, Moussa A, Meiler CC, Giannakopoulos P. Cognitive features in euthimic bipolar patiets in old age. Bipolar Disord. 2009. in press . [PubMed]

Articles from Annals of General Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central