Long-term symptomatic status of bipolar I vs. bipolar II disorders
ABSTRACT Weekly affective symptom severity and polarity were compared in 135 bipolar I (BP I) and 71 bipolar II (BP II) patients during up to 20 yr of prospective symptomatic follow-up. The course of BP I and BP II was chronic; patients were symptomatic approximately half of all follow-up weeks (BP I 46.6% and BP II 55.8% of weeks). Most bipolar disorder research has concentrated on episodes of MDD and mania and yet minor and subsyndromal symptoms are three times more common during the long-term course. Weeks with depressive symptoms predominated over manichypomanic symptoms in both disorders (31) in BP I and BP II at 371 in a largely depressive course (depressive symptoms=59.1% of weeks vs. hypomanic=1.9% of weeks). BP I patients had more weeks of cyclingmixed polarity, hypomanic and subsyndromal hypomanic symptoms. Weekly symptom severity and polarity fluctuated frequently within the same bipolar patient, in which the longitudinal symptomatic expression of BP I and BP II is dimensional in nature involving all levels of affective symptom severity of mania and depression. Although BP I is more severe, BP II with its intensely chronic depressive features is not simply the lesser of the bipolar disorders; it is also a serious illness, more so than previously thought (for instance, as described in DSM-IV and ICP-10). It is likely that this conventional view is the reason why BP II patients were prescribed pharmacological treatments significantly less often when acutely symptomatic and during intervals between episodes. Taken together with previous research by us on the long-term structure of unipolar depression, we submit that the thrust of our work during the past decade supports classic notions of a broader affective disorder spectrum, bringing bipolarity and recurrent unipolarity closer together. However the genetic variation underlying such a putative spectrum remains to be clarified.
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies have suggested that bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with alterations in neuronal plasticity, but the effects of the progression of illness on brain anatomy have been poorly investigated. We studied the correlation between length of illness, age, age at onset, and the number of previous episodes and total brain, total gray, and total white matter volumes in BD, unipolar (UP) and healthy control (HC) subjects. Thirty-six BD, 31 UP and 55 HCs underwent a 1.5 T brain magnetic resonance imaging scan, and gray and white matter volumes were manually traced blinded to the subjects' diagnosis. Partial correlation analysis showed that length of illness was inversely correlated with total gray matter volume after adjusting for total intracranial volume in BD (r(p)= -0.51; p=0.003) but not in UP subjects (r(p)= -0.23; p=0.21). Age at illness onset and the number of previous episodes were not significantly correlated with gray matter volumes in BD or UP subjects. No significant correlation with total white matter volume was observed. These results suggest that the progression of illness may be associated with abnormal cellular plasticity. Prospective longitudinal studies are necessary to elucidate the long-term effects of illness progression on brain structure in major mood disorders.European Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2008; 18(10):717-22. DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2008.04.015
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ABSTRACT: This project examined cognitive responses to failure and success and their association with depression and mania within bipolar disorder. Many cognitive variables that are associated with unipolar depression have been found to be involved in bipolar disorder, more specifically bipolar depression. This research was the first to examine tendencies to hold high standards, engage in self-criticism, and generalize from failure to an overall sense of self-worth. In Study 1, undergraduates were screened for risk of mood disorders and completed structured diagnostic interviews. History of bipolar spectrum disorders and history of depression had separate associations with negative generalization. The association of generalization with bipolar spectrum disorders was accounted for by current depressive symptoms. For Study 2, the authors developed a measure of the tendency to engage in positive generalization following success experiences. In a sample of 276 undergraduates, this measure related uniquely to risk for mania. Results of these 2 studies suggest that responses to failure are associated with a history of depression, whereas responses to success are associated with a risk for mania. Implications for future research and clinical work are discussed.Journal of Abnormal Psychology 03/2008; 117(1):154-63. DOI:10.1037/0021-843X.117.1.154
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ABSTRACT: Functional neuroimaging studies of bipolar disorder (BD) performed in conjunction with antidepressant treatment trials generally require that patients remain on mood stabilizers to reduce the risk of inducing mania; yet, it is unknown whether the metabolic abnormalities evident in unmedicated BD depressives remain detectable in patients receiving mood stabilizers. This study investigated whether cerebral metabolic abnormalities previously reported in unmedicated BD subjects are evident in depressed bipolar disorder type II (BD II) subjects receiving lithium or divalproex. Using [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron-emission tomography, cerebral glucose metabolism was compared between 13 depressed BD II subjects on therapeutic doses of lithium or divalproex and 18 healthy control subjects. Regional metabolism was compared between groups in predefined regions of interest. Metabolism was increased in the bilateral amygdala, accumbens area, and anteroventral putamen, left orbitofrontal cortex and right pregenual anterior cingulate cortex in depressives versus control subjects. Post hoc exploratory analysis additionally revealed increased metabolism in left parahippocampal, posterior cingulate, and right anterior insular cortices in depressives versus control subjects. Correlational analyses showed multiple limbic-cortical-striatal interactions in the BD sample not evident in the control sample, permitting sensitive and specific classification of subjects by discriminant analysis. These results confirm previous reports that bipolar depression is associated with abnormally increased metabolism in the amygdala, ventral striatum, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and anterior insula, and extend these results to bipolar disorder type II depressives on lithium or divalproex. They also implicate an extended functional anatomical network known to modulate visceromotor function in the pathophysiology of BD II depression.Biological Psychiatry 04/2007; 61(6):765-75. DOI:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.06.009