Symptom Severity Mixity in Older-Age Bipolar Disorder: Analyses From the Global Aging and Geriatric Experiments in Bipolar Disorder Database (GAGE-BD)

Lisa T. Eyler*, Farren B.S. Briggs, Annemiek Dols, Soham Rej, Osvaldo P. Almeida, Alexandra J.M. Beunders, Hilary P. Blumberg, Brent P. Forester, Regan E. Patrick, Orestes V. Forlenza, Ariel Gildengers, Esther Jimenez, Eduard Vieta, Benoit H. Mulsant, Sigfried Schouws, Nadine P.G. Paans, Sergio Strejilevich, Ashley Sutherland, Shangying Tsai, Martha Sajatovic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Some individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) experience manic and depressive symptoms concurrently, but data are limited on symptom mixity in older age bipolar disorder (OABD). Using the Global Aging & Geriatric Experiments in Bipolar Disorder Database, we characterized mixity in OABD and associations with everyday function. Methods: The sample (n = 805), from 12 international studies, included cases with both mania and depression severity ratings at a single timepoint. Four mixity groups were created: asymptomatic (A), mixed (Mix), depressed only (Dep), and manic only (Man). Generalized linear mixed models used mixity group as the predictor variable; cohort was included as a random intercept. Everyday function was assessed with the Global Assessment of Functioning score. Results: Group proportions were Mix (69.6%; n = 560), followed by Dep (18.4%; n = 148), then A (7.8%; n = 63), then Man (4.2%; n= 34); levels of depression and mania were similar in Mix compared to Dep and Man, respectively. Everyday function was lowest in Mix, highest in A, and intermediate in Man and Dep. Within Mix, severity of depression was the main driver of worse functioning. Groups differed in years of education, with A higher than all others, but did not differ by age, gender, employment status, BD subtype, or age of onset. Conclusions: Mixed features predominate in a cross-sectional, global OABD sample and are associated with worse everyday function. Among those with mixed symptoms, functional status relates strongly to current depression severity. Future studies should include cognitive and other biological variables as well as longitudinal designs to allow for evaluation of causal effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1107
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number10
Early online date20 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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