Cognitive impairment and dementia in late-life bipolar disorder

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Purpose of review

This work aims to review the most recent publications on cognitive impairment and dementia associated with bipolar disorder (BPD), especially in the elderly.

Recent findings

In the last years, a growing number of studies aiming at better understanding of cognitive impairment in BPD were found. Impairments found in BPD were compared with other psychiatric disorders and primary cognitive diseases. The impact of cognitive impairment on functionality was also recently highlighted. With respect to neurobiology, studies that explored inflammatory, neurotrophic and pathological cascades possibly associated with BPD and cognition were published. Finally, the first study covering treatment of cognitive impairment was carried out with pramipexole, and it raised important methodological issues for future research in BPD.


Cognitive impairment and dementia in BPD should be better explored with cognitive and functionality protocols along with biological and neuroimaging markers.

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