International Psychogeriatrics

Research Article

Language impairment in euthymic, elderly patients with bipolar disorder but no dementia

Marcia Radanovica1 c1, Paula Villela Nunesa1, Wagner Farid Gattaza1 and Orestes Vicente Forlenzaa1

a1 Laboratory of Neuroscience (LIM 27), Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil


Background: Neurocognitive impairment is known to occur in euthymic bipolar patients, but language alterations have not been thoroughly investigated. The aim of this study is to examine the performance in language tests of a sample of elderly patients with bipolar disorder.

Methods: We studied 33 euthymic elderly patients with bipolar disorder but no dementia and 33 healthy individuals, matched for age and education, who were compared in terms of their CAMCOG global score and its subitems.

Results: The scores obtained in language-related abilities for patients and controls, respectively, were: language (total): 27.3 (1) and 28.5 (1), p < 0.0001; comprehension: 8.6 (0.5) and 8.9 (0.3), p = 0.006; production: 18.7 (1) and 19.6 (0.9), p = <0.0001; abstraction: 6.8 (1.1) and 7.3 (0.7), p = 0.016; verbal fluency: 16.3 (4.3) and 19.6 (4.1), p = 0.003.

Conclusion: A mild but significant impairment in language-related ability scores was detected when comparing patients and controls.

(Received July 05 2007)

(Online publication September 13 2007)

(Revised December 23 2007)

(Accepted December 23 2007)

(Online publication April 01 2008)