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Latest NIMH Study on Bipolar Disorder

ily members.

This study concludes what NAMI members have known for years -- a combination of intensive psychosocial interventions and family involvement are both necessary ingredients for the best outcomes in bipolar disorder. Unfortunately many people who live with serious mental illnesses, like bipolar disorder, don't have access to the most basic care, much less the intensive psychosocial interventions recommended in the study.

The medication arm of the study, released last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at two commonly prescribed antidepressants along with mood stabilizers for the symptoms of depression in individuals who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The study found that the two antidepressants they studied did not work to relieve the depressive symptoms of the illness any better than placebo did for people with bipolar illness. The depressive phase of bipolar illness is notoriously difficult to treat, and more will have to be uncovered as to which pharmacologic strategies best complement the psychosocial treatments for this aspect of bipolar disorder. Most people with bipolar illness spend much more time in the depressive phase, so the need for more effective treatments is profound.

What we learn from these studies is that the treatment of bipolar disorder is an important public health concern, and one that demands individualized attention. We need to provide greater access to intensive psychotherapy to truly offer the hope of recovery to millions of Americans living with bipolar disorder."

Archives of General Psychiatry: http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/


    New England Journal of Medicine article:

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa064135


CONTACT: Alexis O'Brien of NAMI, +1-703-312-7893

Web site: '"/>




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