What is dementia?

Dementia is characterised by significant cognitive impairment. Symptoms include memory impairment, aphasia (impaired language functioning), apraxia (aberrant movement), agnosia (inability to identify objects, people, sound or smell), and impaired executive functioning (for example, the ability to think abstractly, plan, initiate or stop actions). Other symptoms include behavioural disturbances, anxiety, apathy, delirium, and mood and sleep disturbances. Bipolar disorder is also often associated with cognitive and functional decline however, people with dementia show greater cognitive impairment.

What is the evidence for dementia in people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence funds a medium-sized increased risk of dementia in people with bipolar disorder compared to people without bipolar disorder.

Moderate to high quality evidence finds a medium-sized decreased risk of dementia in people with bipolar disorder who are taking lithium compared to those not taking lithium.

March 2020

Last updated at: 4:08 am, 12th June 2020
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.