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Video: AstraZeneca Traveling Exhibit Helps Americans Understand and Manage Bipolar Depression

WILMINGTON, Del., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As part of its ongoing effort to support bipolar depression awareness and education, AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) is bringing The Bipolar Journey: Living With Bipolar Depression interactive exhibit to patients and caregivers across America. Those who have been touched by bipolar depression -- the depressive phase of bipolar disorder -- are encouraged to visit a nearby exhibit site and learn more about living with this disease and how to help manage it.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

"The more you understand about bipolar depression, the better equipped you are to cope with your disease or help a loved one do the same," said Janet Taylor, M.D., a New York-based Psychiatrist in private practice. "In my experience working with patients and families, I've learned that an engaging, interactive approach can be very effective. The Bipolar Journey exhibit's consumer-focused activities provide insight and clarity into the life of a patient living with and managing bipolar depression."

The Bipolar Journey features imagery, multimedia activities, and interactive tools to help patients connect with experts as well as other patients and caregivers who have dealt with the impact of bipolar depression in their own lives. For example, a unique tool lets visitors select questions that interest them and hear tailored video responses from Dr. Taylor. Through a powerful feature called "My Story," visitors can step into a photo booth to give a short message of inspiration about their experience with bipolar depression. Select messages are then posted on an "inspiration wall" to travel around the country with the exhibit, inspiring hope in others. Additional features include a podcast listening station and a short video.

One of the main goals of The Bipolar Journey is to give patients the resources they need to help find appropriate support to manage their disease. In addition to encouraging patients to work with a physician to develop a treatment plan, the exhibit offers opportunities to register for Thinking Forward(TM), a support program that provides free information, resources, and practical advice for people with bipolar depression.

Be sure to click on the links to your right to download a tour schedule, examples of featured activities, a fact sheet about bipolar disorder, photos, and additional resources.

About Bipolar Disorder

Approximately 8 million American adults may be affected by bipolar disorder, a serious psychiatric condition also known as manic depressive illness.(1,2) Bipolar disorder consists of recurring episodes of mania and depression.(3) Bipolar I disorder is characterized by one or more manic or mixed episodes, often with one or more episodes of major depression, whereas bipolar II disorder is distinguished by one or more major depressive episodes accompanied by at least one hypomanic episode.(3)

Throughout their lives, patients with bipolar I disorder experience depressive symptoms approximately three times longer than manic symptoms.(4) Similarly, patients with bipolar II disorder spend almost forty times longer in the depressed state than in hypomania.(5) Up to 50 percent of patients with bipolar disorder attempt suicide, and approximately 15 to 20 percent complete suicide.(6)

Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder. This misdiagnosis can lead to unfocused treatment that may exacerbate the disease. In fact, many patients face ten years or more before a correct diagnosis is made.(7) Therefore, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression.(8)

Bipolar disorder is typically managed through a treatment strategy with several phases -- including acute and maintenance phases. In the acute phase, the goal is to treat the patient until symptoms remit; the maintenance treatment phase aims to reduce the risk of recurrence of future episodes.(8)

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and in the supply of the healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with global healthcare sales of $31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $ 13.5 billion dollar healthcare business.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&ME(TM) Prescriptions Savings programs, please visit: Thinking Forward and AZ&ME are trademarks of the AstraZeneca group of companies.


    Katie Lubenow

    Kirsten Evraire


  1. Hirschfeld RMA, Calabrese JR, Weissman MM, et al. Screening for Bipolar in the Community. J Clin Psychiatry. 2003; 64:53-59.
  2. US Bureau of the Census. Accessed June 10, 2009.
  3. American Psychiatric Association (APA). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: APA; 2000; 382-397.
  4. Judd LL, Akiskal HS, Schettler PJ, et al. The Long-term Natural History of the Weekly Symptomatic Status of Bipolar I Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002; 59:530-537.
  5. Judd LL, Akiskal HS, Schettler PJ, et al. A Prospective Investigation of the Natural History of the Long-term Weekly Symptomatic Status of Bipolar II Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003; 60:261-269.
  6. MA, Chaudhury SR, Mann JJ. Pharmacotherapy of Suicidal Behavior in Bipolar Disorder. Archives of Suicide Research. 2005; 9(3):237-250.
  7. Hirschfeld RMA, Lewis L, Vornik LA. Perceptions and Impact of Bipolar Disorder: How Far Have We Really Come? Results of the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association 2000 Survey of Individuals With Bipolar Disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2003; 64:161-174.
  8. American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder, Second Edition. April 2002. Accessed June 10, 2009.

SOURCE AstraZeneca
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