Objective: There is a dearth of research about the aging process among individuals with bipolar disorder (BD). One potential strategy to overcome the challenge of interpreting findings from existing limited older-age bipolar disorder (OABD) research studies is to pool or integrate data, taking advantage of potential overlap or similarities in assessment methods and harmonizing or cross-walking measurements where different measurement tools are used to evaluate overlapping construct domains. This report describes the methods and initial start-up activities of a first-ever initiative to create an integrated OABD-focused database, the Global Aging & Geriatric Experiments in Bipolar Disorder Database (GAGE-BD) project.
Methods: Building on preliminary work conducted by members of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders OABD taskforce, the GAGE-BD project will be operationalized in four stages intended to ready the dataset for hypothesis-driven analyses, establish a consortium of investigators to guide exploration, and set the stage for prospective investigation using a common dataset that will facilitate a high degree of generalizability.
Results: Initial efforts in GAGE-BD have brought together 14 international investigators representing a broad geographic distribution and data on over 1,000 OABD. Start-up efforts include communication and guidance on meeting regulatory requirements, establishing a Steering Committee to guide an incremental analysis strategy, and learning from existing multisite data collaborations and other support resources.
Discussion: The GAGE-BD project aims to advance understanding of associations between age, BD symptoms, medical burden, cognition and functioning across the life span and set the stage for future prospective research that can advance the understanding of OABD.
Keywords: bipolar disorder; elderly; geriatric; manic-depressive disorder.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.