Navigation Links
Bipolar Spectrum Disorder may Be Under-recognized for Spectrum Disorder: Study

A new study supports earlier estimates of the prevalence of bipolar disorder in the U.S. population, and suggests the illness may be more accurately characterized as a spectrum disorder. It also finds that many people with the illness are not receiving appropriate treatment. The study, published in the issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), a nationwide survey of mental disorders among 9,282 Americans ages 18 and older.

NIMH researcher Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D. and colleagues identified prevalence rates of three subtypes of bipolar spectrum disorder among adults. Bipolar I is considered the classic form of the illness, in which a person experiences recurrent episodes of mania and depression. People with bipolar II experience a milder form of mania called hypomania that alternates with depressive episodes. People with bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BD-NOS), sometimes called subthreshold bipolar disorder, have manic and depressive symptoms as well, but they do not meet strict criteria for any specific type of bipolar disorder noted in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the reference manual for psychiatric disorders. Nonetheless, BD-NOS still can significantly impair those who have it.

The results indicate that bipolar I and bipolar II each occur in about 1 percent of the population; BD-NOS occurs in about 2.4 percent of the population. The findings support international studies suggesting that, given its multi-dimensional nature, bipolar disorder may be better characterized as a spectrum disorder.

"Bipolar disorder can manifest itself in several different ways. But regardless of type, the illness takes a huge toll," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. "The survey's findings reiterate the need for a more refined understanding of bipolar symptoms, so we can better target treatment."

Mos t respondents with bipolar disorder reported receiving treatment. Nearly everyone who had bipolar I or II (89 to 95 percent) received some type of treatment, while 69 percent of those with BD-NOS were getting treatment. Those with bipolar I or II were more commonly treated by psychiatric specialists, while those with BD-NOS were more commonly treated by general medical professionals.

However, not everyone received treatment considered optimal for bipolar disorder. Up to 97 percent of those who had some type of bipolar illness said they had coexisting psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse disorders, and many were in treatment for those conditions rather than bipolar disorder. The researchers found that many were receiving medication treatment considered "inappropriate" for bipolar disorder, e.g., they were taking an antidepressant or other psychotropic medication in the absence of a mood stabilizing medication such as lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine. Only about 40 percent were receiving appropriate medication, considered a mood stabilizer, anticonvulsant or antipsychotic medication.

"Such a high rate of inappropriate medication use among people with bipolar spectrum disorder is a concern," said Dr. Merikangas. "It is potentially dangerous because use of an antidepressant without the benefit of a mood stabilizer may actually worsen the condition."

Merikangas and colleagues speculate that as people seek treatment for anxiety, depression or substance abuse disorders, their doctors, especially if they are not mental health specialists, may not be detecting an underlying bipolar condition in their patients.

"Because bipolar spectrum disorder commonly coexists with other illnesses, it is likely underrecognized, and therefore, undertreated. We need better screening tools and procedures for identifying bipolar spectrum disorder, and work with clinicians to help them better spot t hese bipolar symptoms," concluded Dr. Merikangas.


Related medicine news :

1. Psychosocial Disability Varies In Accordance With Bipolar Symptom Changes
2. Seroquel to Treat Depression In Case Of Bipolar Disorder
3. Researchers Identify Gene Connected To Bipolar Disorder
4. Bipolar Risk Gene Identified
5. Mood Stabilizing drugs for Bipolar disorder
6. Bipolar Disorder Not Being Accurately Diagnosed By Doctors In UK
7. Promising Care Model For Bipolar Disorder
8. Research on Bipolar Disorder Launched
9. Is Extreme Irritability - a Childhood Bipolar Disorder?
10. Antidepressant Medication Has No Effect on Bipolar Patients
11. Intensive Psychotherapy Effective in Treating Bipolar Disorder
Post Your Comments:

(Date:12/2/2015)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2015 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Robert J. Hitchcock, FACAP, as the Medical Director ... Hitchcock will be the facility medical director of our new Frisco- Eldorado location,” said ...
(Date:12/2/2015)... ... December 02, 2015 , ... Alco NJ Animal and Pest Control ... virus. According to an article by , released November 14, 2015 and ... backyards in increased numbers. Bats, skunks, and groundhogs have tested positive for the disease ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 02, 2015 , ... ... Sykora as a 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year ... is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The North American Meat Institute today unveiled ... poultry play in a healthy, balanced diet. , includes a section about ... their “meat IQ,” a section offering straight talk on controversies, information on buying ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... announced its acquisition by Jordan Industries International, LLC (“JII”). , With support from ... rentals and maintenance services to hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, research labs and medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2015)... ) has ... Market by Product Type, Surgery Type, End ... 2020"  report to their offering.  --> ... of the  "Spine Biologics Market by Product ... - Global Forecast to 2020"  report to ...
(Date:12/2/2015)... , December 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "Global ... their offering.  --> ... the  "Global Laparotomy Sponge Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 As enforcement ... Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) approaches, InfiniTrak ... and independent pharmacies comply with looming FDA regulations. ... InfiniTrak is entering endorsement agreements with State Pharmacy ... services administration organization (PSAO) to exclusively provide the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: