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Scientific article
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Neurocognitive deficits and personality traits among euthymic patients with mood disorders in late life

Published inJournal of the neurological sciences, vol. 299, no. 1-2, p. 24-29
Publication date2010
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Previous studies revealed that acute depressive episodes are associated with both cognitive deficits and modified personality patterns in late life. Whether or not these psychological changes are present after remission remains a matter of debate. To date, no study provided concomitant assessment of cognition and psychological functions in this particular clinical setting. METHOD: Using a cross-sectional design, 58 remitted outpatients (36 with unipolar early-onset depression (EOD) and 22 with bipolar disorder (BD)) were compared to 62 healthy controls. Assessment included detailed neurocognitive measures and evaluation of the five factor personality dimensions (NEO-Personality Inventory). RESULTS: Group comparisons revealed significant slower processing speed, working and episodic memory performances in BD patients. EOD patients showed cognitive abilities comparable to those of elderly controls. In NEO PI assessment, both BD and EOD patients displayed higher Depressiveness facet scores. In addition, the EOD but not BD group had lower Extraversion factor, and Warmth and Positive Emotion facet scores than controls. CONCLUSIONS: After remission from acute affective symptoms, older BD patients show significant impairment in several cognitive functions while neuropsychological performances remained intact in elderly patients with EOD. Supporting a long-lasting psychological vulnerability, EOD patients are more prone to develop emotion-related personality trait changes than BD patients.

Keywords
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bipolar Disorder/physiopathology/*psychology
  • Cognition Disorders/physiopathology/*psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder/physiopathology/*psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • *Personality
  • Personality Tests
Citation (ISO format)
CANUTO, Alessandra et al. Neurocognitive deficits and personality traits among euthymic patients with mood disorders in late life. In: Journal of the neurological sciences, 2010, vol. 299, n° 1-2, p. 24–29. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2010.08.045
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ISSN of the journal0022-510X
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