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The current study argues that population prevalence estimates for mental health disorders, or changes in mean scores over time, may not adequately reflect the heterogeneity in mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic within the population.
The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study is a longitudinal, nationally representative, online survey of UK adults. The current study analysed data from its first three waves of data collection: Wave 1 (March 2020, N = 2025), Wave 2 (April 2020, N = 1406) and Wave 3 (July 2020, N = 1166). Anxiety-depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire Anxiety and Depression Scale (a composite measure of the PHQ-9 and GAD-7) and COVID-19-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the International Trauma Questionnaire. Changes in mental health outcomes were modelled across the three waves. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify subgroups of individuals with different trajectories of change in anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Latent class membership was regressed on baseline characteristics.
Overall prevalence of anxiety-depression remained stable, while COVID-19 PTSD reduced between Waves 2 and 3. Heterogeneity in mental health response was found, and hypothesised classes reflecting (i) stability, (ii) improvement and (iii) deterioration in mental health were identified. Psychological factors were most likely to differentiate the improving, deteriorating and high-stable classes from the low-stable mental health trajectories.
A low-stable profile characterised by little-to-no psychological distress (‘resilient’ class) was the most common trajectory for both anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Monitoring these trajectories is necessary moving forward, in particular for the ~30% of individuals with increasing anxiety-depression levels.
To compare the prevalence of select cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) versus lifetime history of major depression disorder (MDD) and a normal comparison group using baseline data from the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia with Cognitive Remediation plus Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (PACt-MD) study.
Baseline data from a multi-centered intervention study of older adults with MCI, history of MDD, or combined MCI and history of MDD (PACt-MD) were analyzed.
Community-based multi-centered study based in Toronto across 5 academic sites.
Older adults with MCI, history of MDD, or combined MCI and history of MDD and healthy controls.
We examined the baseline distribution of smoking, hypertension and diabetes in three groups of participants aged 60+ years in the PACt-MD cohort study: MCI (n = 278), MDD (n = 95), and healthy older controls (n = 81). Generalized linear models were fitted to study the effect of CVRFs on MCI and MDD as well as neuropsychological composite scores.
A higher odds of hypertension among the MCI cohort compared to healthy controls (p < .05) was noted in unadjusted analysis. Statistical significance level was lost on adjusting for age, sex and education (p > .05). A history of hypertension was associated with lower performance in composite executive function (p < .05) and overall composite neuropsychological test score (p < .05) among a pooled cohort with MCI or MDD.
This study reinforces the importance of treating modifiable CVRFs, specifically hypertension, as a means of mitigating cognitive decline in patients with at-risk cognitive conditions.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency has led to numerous attempts to assess the impact of the pandemic on population mental health. The findings indicate an increase in depression and anxiety but have been limited by the lack of specificity about which aspects of the pandemic (e.g. viral exposure or economic threats) have led to adverse mental health outcomes.
Network analyses were conducted on data from wave 1 (N = 2025, recruited 23 March–28 March 2020) and wave 2 (N = 1406, recontacts 22 April–1 May 2020) of the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium Study, an online longitudinal survey of a representative sample of the UK adult population. Our models included depression (PHQ-9), generalized anxiety (GAD-7) and trauma symptoms (ITQ); and measures of COVID-specific anxiety, exposure to the virus in self and close others, as well as economic loss due to the pandemic.
A mixed graphical model at wave 1 identified a potential pathway from economic adversity to anxiety symptoms via COVID-specific anxiety. There was no association between viral exposure and symptoms. Ising network models using clinical cut-offs for symptom scores at each wave yielded similar findings, with the exception of a modest effect of viral exposure on trauma symptoms at wave 1 only. Anxiety and depression symptoms formed separate clusters at wave 1 but not wave 2.
The psychological impact of the pandemic evolved in the early phase of lockdown. COVID-related anxiety may represent the mechanism through which economic consequences of the pandemic are associated with psychiatric symptoms.
As a publicly funded institution,The University of Texas at Austin had to implement the state's legislation to allow concealed handguns on campus. Yet its own Campus Carry policy has sought to erase the matter from everyday campus life. The administration deems it a “nonissue,” presuming that students have become accustomed to the idea, do not think about it actively, and have a low interest in acquiring a handgun license. This paper, based on a survey of the university's undergraduates, questions these ideas. It shows that a majority of students think that the issue is important and examines in what sense the students are troubled by its effects. While opinions differ between supporters and opponents of Campus Carry, divergences also exist within their ranks, such as among supporters of the law regarding where guns should specifically be allowed at the university. On the basis of the survey, the essay also examines how many licensed carriers are actually on campus, compared to the university's estimates.
This essay reflects on the use of competing rhetorical frames of fear strategically used by the academic community of The University of Texas at Austin in the debate on Campus Carry policy. With the legalization of concealed handguns on campus, fear emerged as a prominent trope in public discussions, albeit used in very different ways by supporters or opponents of the law. Against the more standard interpretation of fear-based rhetoric as an exploitation of others’ insecurities, this essay draws on mixed-methods research to examine expressions of fear by activist opponents of Campus Carry and the way in which supporters of the law sought to deconstruct it.
People who attempt suicide often display cognitive impairments, particularly poor cognitive control. Could poor cognitive control contribute to high suicide rates in old age? A component of cognitive control, cognitive inhibition – active suppression of task-irrelevant processing – is very sensitive to aging and has been linked to attempted suicide. We investigated cognitive inhibition in older high-lethality suicide attempters, closely resembling suicide victims, as well as low-lethality attempters, and control groups with and without depression and suicidal ideation.
102 participants aged 60+ (17 psychiatrically healthy control subjects, 38 depressed control subjects, 16 suicide ideators, 14 low-lethality suicide attempters, and 17 high-lethality suicide attempters) underwent comprehensive clinical and cognitive assessments. They completed the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System Color-Word Interference Test, a validated modification of the Stroop test.
High-lethality suicide attempters demonstrated a distinct pattern of cognitive inhibition deficits. Compared to psychiatrically healthy control subjects and non-suicidal depressed patients, high-lethality attempters took longer to complete inhibition trials, even after accounting for potential confounding factors (age, education, MMSE score, information processing speed, and accuracy). Compared to non-suicidal depressed and healthy control subjects, low-lethality suicide attempters committed more uncorrected errors; however, this difference was not specific to the inhibition condition.
Older suicide attempters are a cognitively heterogeneous group. Poor cognitive control in high-lethality attempters may undermine their ability to solve real-life problems, precipitating a catastrophic accumulation of stressors. Meanwhile, low-lethality attempters’ poor performance may reflect a careless approach to the task or faulty monitoring.
‘It's the good girls who keep the diaries; the bad girls never have the time.’ Elizabeth Grant (1797-1885) was not a bad girl, though a wilful one; but it seems that she had not the time to keep a diary regularly until 1845 when she was a good middle-aged lady. For she says that when compiling her Memoirs of a Highland Lady she had ‘no memoranda of any sort to guide me’ (M, I, p. 234). If, as there is no reason to doubt, this is true, she had an extraordinary capacity for visual recall - of large numbers of persons, their characters, appearance, clothes, and of scenes, especially interiors. She is, however, no Boswell; she remembers, or cares to tell, comparatively little of what people said, even when in her Irish journal she is writing about current happenings. In general she is more concerned with what can be seen than with the inner life. ‘These Memoirs are but the fair outside, after all, a deal is hid, both as regards myself and others, that it would be painful to record and worse than useless to remember’ (M, II, p. 245). Fortunately she sometimes transcends this limitation.
Though having no memoranda for the Memoirs she does tell of having written, at about the age of seventeen, a journal of daily doings great and small to send to an aunt in England to show the happiness of life in the Highlands. When her father read it he was so bewildered, ‘unused to that poetick or portraitick style of writing, it was not known at that period, that he judged the wisest thing to be done with so imaginative a brain was to square it a bit by rule and compass’. He began to teach her mathematics, ‘an entrancing study’, in order to ‘strengthen the understanding sufficiently to give it power over the fancy’ (M, I, p. 331). The flights of fancy in these adolescent writings were chastened, but the imaginative brain lived on, complementing memory. Like all the best autobiographies the Memoirs at their best are imaginative recreations of the past, not just feats of memory.
In 1924 William Watson gave a brief survey of the occurrence in Scotland of personal names containing the names of saints. He observed an interesting coincidence of such names with place-names commemorating the same saints, and declared that further research on the matter might bear fruit. This research, over ninety years later, has yet to be done in any systematic way. I would like now to highlight some cases which strengthen Watson's arguments, and to examine one rich but late source which, while providing few answers, raises the kinds of questions we might ask, should further research be conducted.
There is a dearth of work done on personal names containing saints’ names in Scotland despite their frequency and wide spread over time and space. Watson's study is broad but does not go into much depth, while research into individual names, such as that by D. C. McWhannell on Mac Gilla Conaill, drills deeper, but covers only a handful of names. Notable work has been done by Fiona Edmonds but this covers only a portion of Scotland (the southwest), and is mostly concerned with forenames such as Gilla Pátraic.
I would like here to follow Watson in looking at surnames, in particular those containing Gilla or Máel. In order to underpin this work, however, further study is still desirable on the origins of these names as forenames: on why (precisely) such a name might be applied in the first place, on continuity of use (and difference) between Ireland and Scotland, and on the influence of the Norse and Anglo-Normans on their development. David Thornton, who repeats Watson's call for a systematic programme of work to be advanced, has made some important (though tentative) suggestions in this regard; I will follow him here in referring to this class of names as hagiophoric (‘saint-bearing’) names.
Gilla names first appear in the annals in the tenth century, usually in conjunction with a saint's name. Gilla means ‘servant’ or ‘lad’, so Gilla Faeláin, for example, means servant (or devotee) of St Faelán. When put in the genitive in a patronymic or a surname, this becomes Mac Gilla Fhaeláin/ScG Mac Ghille Fhaolain; later contraction to Mac ‘Ill'Fhaolain results in the Anglicized surname MacLellan.
Use latent class analysis (LCA) to identify patterns of cognitive functioning in a sample of older adults with clinical depression and without dementia and assess demographic, psychiatric, and neurobiological predictors of class membership.
Neuropsychological assessment data from 121 participants in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative-Depression project (ADNI-D) were analyzed, including measures of executive functioning, verbal and visual memory, visuospatial and language functioning, and processing speed. These data were analyzed using LCA, with predictors of class membership such as depression severity, depression and treatment history, amyloid burden, and APOE e4 allele also assessed.
A two-class model of cognitive functioning best fit the data, with the Lower Cognitive Class (46.1% of the sample) performing approximately one standard deviation below the Higher Cognitive Class (53.9%) on most tests. When predictors of class membership were assessed, carrying an APOE e4 allele was significantly associated with membership in the Lower Cognitive Class. Demographic characteristics, age of depression onset, depression severity, history of psychopharmacological treatment for depression, and amyloid positivity did not predict class membership.
LCA allows for identification of subgroups of cognitive functioning in a mostly cognitively intact late life depression (LLD) population. One subgroup, the Lower Cognitive Class, more likely to carry an APOE e4 allele, may be at a greater risk for subsequent cognitive decline, even though current performance on neuropsychological testing is within normal limits. These findings have implications for early identification of those at greatest risk, risk factors, and avenues for preventive intervention.
Introduction: Abdominal pain is one of the most frequent reasons for an emergency department (ED) visit. Most cases are functional and no therapy has proven effective. Our objective was to determine if hyoscine butylbromide (HBB) (BuscopanTM) is effective for children who present to the ED with functional abdominal pain. Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, superiority trial comparing HBB 10 mg plus acetaminophen placebo to oral acetaminophen 15 mg/kg (max 975 mg) plus HBB placebo using a double-dummy approach. We included children 8-17 years presenting to the ED at London Health Sciences Centre with colicky abdominal pain rated >40 mm on a 100 mm visual analog scale (VAS). The primary outcome was VAS pain score at 80 minutes post-administration. Secondary outcomes included adverse effects; caregiver satisfaction with pain management using a five-item Likert scale; recidivism and missed surgical diagnoses within 24-hours of discharge. Analysis was based on intention to treat. Results: We analyzed 225 participants (112 acetaminophen; 113 HBB). The mean (SD) age was 12.4 (3.0) years and 148/225 (65.8%) were females. Prior to enrollment, the median (IQR) duration of pain prior was 2 (4.5) hours and analgesia was provided to 101/225 (44.9%) of participants. The mean (SD) pre-intervention pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 62.7 (15.9) mm and 60.3 (17.3) mm, respectively. At 80 minutes, the mean (SD) pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 30.1 (28.8) mm and 29.4 (26.4) mm, respectively and there were no significant differences adjusting for pre-intervention scores (p = 0.96). The median (IQR) caregiver satisfaction was high in the acetaminophen [5 (2)] and HBB [5 (1)] groups (p = 0.79). The median (IQR) length of stay between acetaminophen [235 (101)] and HBB [234 (103)] was not significantly different (p = 0.53). The proportion of participants with a return visit for abdominal pain was 4/112 (3.5%) in the acetaminophen group and 6/113 (5.3%) in the HBB group. The most common adverse effect was nausea (9% in each group) and there were no significant differences in adverse effects between acetaminophen (26/112, 23.2%) and HBB (31/113, 27.4%) (p = 0.52). There were no missed surgical diagnoses. Conclusion: For children with presumed functional abdominal pain who present to the ED, both acetaminophen and HBB produce a clinically important (VAS < 30 mm) reduction in pain and should be routinely considered in this clinical setting.
Death by suicide is often preceded by attempted suicide, suicidal ideation and non-suicidal self-injury. These extreme thoughts and behaviours have been considered in terms of a continuum of suicidality. Little known research, however, has considered a suicide continuum that extends beyond these extreme thoughts and behaviours and incorporates a much wider array of phenomena that may vary in severity and may constitute a broader negative self-evaluation (NSE) continuum.
Harvesting key indicators of NSE from a British epidemiological survey (N = 8580), the current study used exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and factor mixture modelling to (i) identify the dimensional structure of NSE in the general population and (ii) profile the distribution of the resultant NSE dimensions. Multinomial logistic regression was then used to differentiate between classes using an array of risk variables, psychopathology outcome variables and a suicide attempt indicator.
A 4-factor model that reflected graded levels of NSE was identified; (F1) Low self-worth & subordination (F2) depression, (F3) suicidal thoughts, (F4) self-harm (SH). Seven classes suggested a clear pattern of NSE severity. Classes characterised by higher levels across the dimensions exhibited greater risk and poorer outcomes. The greatest risk for suicide attempt was associated with a class characterised by engagement in SH behaviour.
Low self-worth, subordination and depression, while representative of distinct groups in the population are also highly prevalent in those who entertain suicidal thoughts and engage in SH behaviour. The findings promote further investigation into the genesis and evolution of suicidality and internal threat.
Objectives: The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify clinical predictors that could distinguish clients’ level of engagement in inpatient rehabilitation following stroke. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of pooled data from three randomized controlled trials that examined the effects of a behavioral intervention. The sample (n=208) consisted of clients with stroke who had cognitive deficits (Quick-EXIT≥3) and were admitted to inpatient rehabilitation facilities associated with a university medical center. Individuals with pre-morbid dementia, aphasia and mood disorders were excluded. The Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale was used to measure engagement. Clinical predictors were measured using the Functional Independence Measure, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status, selected subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and Chedoke McMaster Stroke Assessment. Simple logistic regression identified individual clinical predictors associated with engagement. Hierarchical logistic regression identified the strongest predictors of engagement. Results: Impairments in executive functions [mean D-KEFS, odds ratio (OR)=4.062; 95% confidence interval (CI)=.866, 19.051], impairments in visuospatial skills (RBANS Visuospatial Index Score, OR=3.940; 95% CI=1.317, 11.785), impairments in mood (Patient Health Questionnaire-9, OR=2.059, 95% CI=.953, 4.449), and male gender (OR=2.474; 95% CI=1.145, 5.374) predicted levels of engagement in inpatient rehabilitation after controlling for study intervention group, baseline stroke severity, and baseline disability. Conclusions: Executive functions, visuospatial skills, mood, and gender distinguished individuals with high or low engagement in inpatient rehabilitation following stroke. Further studies should examine additional factors that may influence engagement (therapist-client relationship, treatment expectancy). (JINS, 2018, 24, 572–583)
Background: Children with abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED) are at particular risk of suboptimal analgesia due to fears of missing appendicitis and absent guidelines. Many still experience pain at discharge. Acetaminophen is the most commonly used analgesic and efficacy of hyoscine butylbromide (HBB) is supported by adult evidence. However, no evidence exists for either agent in children with abdominal pain. Objective: To determine if HBB is superior to acetaminophen for abdominal pain in children. Methods: We will consecutively recruit children 8-17 years presenting to the ED with presumed non-surgical abdominal pain rated >4/10 on the Faces Pain Scale – Revised (FPS-R) and described as colicky, excluding:-Suspected appendicitis or bowel obstruction-Anticholinergic, analgesic, or antispasmodic <12 hours-Peritoneal inflammation-Unable to swallow pills-Hypersensitivity to either intervention-Medically unstable-Previous bowel obstruction, abdominal surgery, myasthenia gravis, liver disease, glaucoma, or recent abdominal trauma (<48 hours)-Toxin ingestion (<24 hours)-Vomiting-Pregnancy Randomization and allocation concealment will be pharmacy-controlled and performed using a computerized random number generator and sequentially numbered, opaque, sealed envelopes, respectively. The physician, research assistant, nurse, and participant will be blinded. Due to perceptible differences, participants will be randomized in a double-dummy approach to:-HBB 10 mg tablet + acetaminophen placebo OR-Acetaminophen 15 mg/kg liquid (maximum 975 mg) + HBB placebo. The primary outcome will be the difference from baseline on the FPS-R at 120 minutes, reflecting HBB’s time to peak plasma concentration. The FPS-R has been validated in children >five years. Secondary outcomes include:-Pain scores at 15, 30, 45, 60, 80, 100, and 120 minutes post-intervention (FPS-R and 100 mm visual analog scale)-Discharge pain score-Rescue analgesia-Time to achieve a 20% reduction in pain-Adverse effects-Recidivism <48 hours-Missed surgical diagnoses (National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS) database)-Caregiver satisfaction (five-item Likert scale). Using the intention to treat principle, ordinal, ratio, and categorical data will be analyzed using the Mann-Whitney, paired t-test, and Pearson’s chi-square, respectively and summarized using 95% confidence intervals. Assuming a standard deviation of 2 faces, 83 children per group will be required to detect a 1-face difference at 5% significance with 90% power. Increasing by 20% equals 100 participants per group. P values <0.05 will be considered significant. An institutional audit revealed 380 eligible patients per year during research assistant availability. Given a 30% refusal rate, we expect five participants enrolled per week for 40 weeks. Importance: Our findings will guide evidence-based analgesic choices for children with non-surgical abdominal pain in the ED.
Evidence exists that analgesics are underutilized, delayed, and insufficiently dosed for emergency department (ED) patients with acute abdominal pain. For physicians practicing in a Canadian paediatric ED setting, we (1) explored theoretical practice variation in the provision of analgesia to children with acute abdominal pain; (2) identified reasons for withholding analgesia; and (3) evaluated the relationship between providing analgesia and surgical consultation.
Physician members of Paediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) were prospectively surveyed and presented with three scenarios of undifferentiated acute abdominal pain to assess management. A modified Dillman’s Tailored Design method was used to distribute the survey from June to July 2014.
Overall response rate was 74.5% (149/200); 51.7% of respondents were female and mean age was 44 (SD 8.4) years. The reported rates of providing analgesia for case scenarios representative of renal colic, appendicitis, and intussusception, were 100%, 92.1%, and 83.4%, respectively, while rates of providing intravenous opioids were 85.2%, 58.6%, and 12.4%, respectively. In all 60 responses where the respondent indicated they would obtain a surgical consultation, analgesia would be provided. In the 35 responses where analgesia would be withheld, 21 (60%) believed pain was not severe enough, while 5 (14.3%) indicated it would obscure a surgical condition.
Pediatric emergency physicians self-reported rates of providing analgesia for acute abdominal pain scenarios were higher than previously reported, and appeared unrelated to request for surgical consultation. However, an unwillingness to provide opioid analgesia, belief that analgesia can obscure a surgical condition, and failure to take self-reported pain at face value remain, suggesting that the need exists for further knowledge translation efforts.
This brief report provides an introduction to the topic of cognitive functioning in late-life depression (LLD). In addition to providing a review of the literature, we present a framework for understanding the heterogeneity of cognitive outcomes in this highly prevalent disorder. In addition, we discuss the relationship between LLD and dementia, and highlight the importance of regularly assessing cognitive functioning in older adults who present with depressive symptoms. If cognitive deficits are discovered during a neuropsychological assessment, we recommend referral to a geriatric psychiatrist or cognitive neurologist, for evaluation and treatment of the patient’s symptoms. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–7)
Late-life depression may increase the risk of incident dementia, in
particular of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the risk of
incident all-cause dementia, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia in
individuals with late-life depression in population-based prospective
A total of 23 studies were included in the meta-analysis. We used the
generic inverse variance method with a random-effects model to calculate
the pooled risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia in
older adults with late-life depression.
Late-life depression was associated with a significant risk of all-cause
dementia (1.85, 95% CI 1.67-2.04, P< 0.001), Alzheimer's disease
(1.65, 95% CI 1.42-1.92, P<0.001) and vascular dementia (2.52, 95% CI
1.77-3.59, P<0.001). Subgroup analysis, based on five studies, showed
that the risk of vascular dementia was significantly higher than for
Alzheimer's disease (P=0.03).
Late-life depression is associated with an increased risk for all-cause
dementia, vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The present results
suggest that it will be valuable to design clinical trials to investigate
the effect of late-life depression prevention on risk of dementia, in
particular vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Many states are adopting economic education standards for the K-12 curriculum, mandating economic education courses in rural and urban schools. We examine economic education outcomes for rural and urban students using test scores gathered during a national high school academic competition and by estimating a production function for economic education. We find only limited differences between the education production function in urban and rural settings and lower average scores for rural students. To close this gap, results suggest that rural schools should place economic content in the senior-year curriculum and provide teachers with increased postgraduate training in economics.
While bipolar disorder (BD) is a leading cause of disability, and an important contributor to disability in BD is cognitive impairment, there is little systematic research on the longitudinal course of cognitive function and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) in late-life. In this report, we characterize the 2-year course of cognitive function and IADLs in older adults with BD.
We recruited non-demented individuals 50 years and older with BD I or BD II (n = 47) from out-patient clinics or treatment studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Comparator subjects (‘controls’) were 22 individuals of comparable age and education with no psychiatric or neurologic history, but similar levels of cardiovascular disease. We assessed cognitive function and IADLs at baseline, 1- and 2-year time-points. The neuropsychological evaluation comprised 21 well-established and validated tests assessing multiple cognitive domains. We assessed IADLs using a criterion-referenced, performance-based instrument. We employed repeated-measures mixed-effects linear models to examine trajectory of cognitive function. We employed non-parametric tests for analysis of IADLs.
The BD group displayed worse cognitive function in all domains and worse IADL performance than the comparator group at baseline and over follow-up. Global cognitive function and IADLs were correlated at all time-points. The BD group did not exhibit accelerated cognitive decline over 2 years.
Over 2 years, cognitive impairment and associated functional disability of older adults with BD appear to be due to long-standing neuroprogressive processes compounded by normal cognitive aging rather than accelerated cognitive loss in old age.