A preliminary study of lamotrigine in the treatment of affective instability in borderline personality disorder.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of lamotrigine in reducing affective instability in borderline personality disorder (BPD). We conducted a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 28 patients who met Revised Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition criteria for BPD. Patients could not meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition criteria for bipolar disorder. Patients could be taking one antidepressant during the study. Patients were randomly assigned to treatment with flexible-dose lamotrigine or placebo in a 1 : 1 manner. The primary outcome measures were: (i) the Affective Lability Scale total score; and (ii) the Affective Instability Item of the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder (ZAN-BPD). The study randomized 15 patients to receive lamotrigine and 13 patients to receive placebo. Patients in the lamotrigine group had significantly greater reductions in the total Affective Lability Scale scores (P<0.05) and significantly greater reductions in scores on the affective instability item of the ZAN-BPD (P<0.05). A secondary finding was that patients in the lamotrigine group had significantly greater reductions in scores on the ZAN-BPD impulsivity item (P = 0.001). Results from the study suggest that lamotrigine is an effective treatment for affective instability and for the general impulsivity characteristic of BPD.
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ABSTRACT: Affective instability (AI) is poorly defined but considered clinically important. The aim of this study was to examine definitions and measures of AI employed in clinical populations. This study was a systematic review using the PRISMA guidelines. MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, PsycArticles and Web of Science databases were searched. Also five journals were hand searched. Primary empirical studies involving randomized controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs, controlled before and after, and observational investigations were included. Studies were selected, data extracted and quality appraised. A narrative synthesis was completed. A total of 11 443 abstracts were screened and 37 studies selected for final analysis on the basis that they provided a definition and measure of AI. Numbers of definitions for each of the terms employed in included studies were: AI (n = 7), affective lability (n = 6), affective dysregulation (n = 1), emotional dysregulation (n = 4), emotion regulation (n = 2), emotional lability (n = 1), mood instability (n = 2), mood lability (n = 1) and mood swings (n = 1); however, these concepts showed considerable overlap in features. A total of 24 distinct measures were identified that could be categorized as primarily measuring one of four facets of AI (oscillation, intensity, ability to regulate and affect change triggered by environment) or as measuring general emotional regulation. A clearer definition of AI is required. We propose AI be defined as 'rapid oscillations of intense affect, with a difficulty in regulating these oscillations or their behavioural consequences'. No single measure comprehensively assesses AI and a combination of current measures is required for assessment. A new short measure of AI that is reliable and validated against external criteria is needed.Psychological Medicine 09/2013; · 5.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Owing to the prevalence of medication side effects and treatment resistance, prescribers often consider off-label uses of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved agents for the treatment of persistent symptoms. The authors review the available literature on the FDA-approved and non-FDA-approved uses of lamotrigine in adults with psychiatric disorders. We used PubMed, MEDLINE, and a hand search of relevant literature to find studies published between 1990 and 2012 and available in English language. The following keywords were searched: lamotrigine, psychiatric, mood disorders, depression, personality disorders, anxiety, schizophrenia, side effects, and rash. Data were selected from 29 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). When RCTs were not available, open-label trials (6), retrospective case reviews (10), and case series (4) were summarized. We extracted results of monotherapy and augmentation trials of lamotrigine on primary and secondary outcome measures. Lamotrigine is generally well tolerated, with the best evidence for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder, particularly in prevention of depressive episodes. In acute bipolar depression, meta-analyses suggested a modest benefit, especially for more severely depressed subjects, with switch rates similar to placebo. In unipolar depression, double-blind RCTs noted benefit on subsets of symptoms and improved response in more severely depressed subjects. Data are limited but promising in borderline personality disorder. Use of lamotrigine in schizophrenia and anxiety disorders has little supportive evidence. Lamotrigine is recommended in bipolar maintenance when depression is prominent. It also has a role in treating acute bipolar depression and unipolar depression, though the latter warrants more research. Data are too limited in other psychiatric disorders to recommend its use at this time.The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 07/2013; 74(7):675-84. · 5.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Emotional and behavioral dyscontrol are relatively common neuropsychiatric sequelae of traumatic brain injury and present substantial challenges to recovery and community participation. Among the most problematic and functionally disruptive of these types of behaviors are pathologic laughing and crying, affective lability, irritability, disinhibition, and aggression. Managing these problems effectively requires an understanding of their phenomenology, epidemiology, and clinical evaluation. This article reviews these issues and provides clinicians with brief and practical suggestions for the management of emotional and behavioral dyscontrol.The Psychiatric clinics of North America 03/2014; 37(1):31-53. · 1.87 Impact Factor