"Bipolarity" in the Setting of Dementia: Bipolar Type VI?

Hagop S. Akiskal, MD; Olavo Pinto, MD; Diogo R. Lara ,MD, PhD


January 06, 2005

In This Article


We have presented a further step in the evolving bipolar spectrum with late-life AD-like onset, proposing a bipolar type VI. This proposal considers mood disorders as a whole, rather than only depression, in the differential diagnosis of AD.

We submit that the similarities in several features between soft bipolar disorder and AD suggest an overlooked continuum between these disorders. In particular, well-established treatments for bipolar disorders (eg, divalproex, lamotrigine, quetiapine) have been increasingly clinically used to treat AD and may target shared pathophysiological processes. This perspective has important implications for clinical research and controlled trials of new psychopharmacotherapeutic strategies for the elderly with mood behavioral dyscontrol and dementiform features.

Supported by an independent educational grant from AstraZeneca.


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