The importance of routine for preventing recurrence in bipolar disorder
ABSTRACT A 41-year-old divorced woman with a 17-year history of bipolar I disorder is receiving outpatient treatment consisting of lithium pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. She is currently living with her sons, ages 7 and 9. Her history is notable for several onsets of mania during or immediately following vacation travel. By the time the patient entered treatment with her current therapist, she was vacation phobic. Yet, as the now-single mother of two active young boys, she also recognized how much she would benefit from a change of scenery and some relief from the constant responsibility for her children and her home. Her brother and sister-in-law had offered to send to her a ticket out to the West Coast for a visit. As much as the idea of a vacation with them appealed to her, it also terrified her. When she mentioned the possibility to her psychiatrist, he agreed that there were some risks involved but that if she planned carefully, she might be able to minimize those risks.
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ABSTRACT: Background Biological rhythm disturbance is common in bipolar patients and seems to affect the course and prognosis of the illness negatively. The main aim of the current study was to assess biological rhythms in remitted bipolar patients. We also assessed whether there was an association between clinical variables or functioning and biological rhythms in remitted bipolar participants. Methods The Biological Rhythms Interview of Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (BRIAN) was used to assess biological rhythm disturbance. It is an 18-item interviewer-administered instrument which allows us to investigate the main areas related to circadian rhythm disturbance (sleep/social, activities, and eating pattern) in bipolar disorder. Results and discussion Bipolar patients (n = 107) experienced greater biological rhythm alterations than the control group (n = 100) (BRIAN total scores 35.36 ± 7.11 vs. 32.48 ± 6.10, t = 6.912, p = 0.002, Cohen's d = 0.43, r = 0.21). In particular, patients were more impaired than the control group with regard to sleep/social (14.67 ± 4.14 vs. 13.49 ± 2.91, t = 10.61, p = 0.018, Cohen's d = 0.33, r = 0.16) and activity (8.49 ± 2.51 vs. 7.07 ± 2.13, t = 3.90, p = 0.001, Cohen's d = 0.61, r = 0.29) domains. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between biological rhythms with residual depressive symptoms (r = 0.459, p < 0.001) and functioning (r = 0.432, p < 0.001). These findings suggest a potential link between biological rhythms and the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. It highlights the importance of novel instruments (e.g., BRIAN) which allow us to assess biological rhythm disturbance in psychiatry. Finally, specific psychosocial interventions focused on lifestyle regularity may be considered as a supplemental treatment of bipolar illness episodes.01/2013; 1(1). DOI:10.1186/2194-7511-1-6
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ABSTRACT: In this study, we sought to advance understanding of trait vulnerability to bipolar disorder (BD) by testing whether instability of the 24-hr activity rhythm was a biomarker of the trait. Locomotor activity was measured over 7 days using actigraphy in participants allocated to groups of high (n = 36) and low (n = 36) trait vulnerability for BD. As predicted, the high-vulnerability group recorded a significantly lower 24-hr activity rhythm amplitude than the low-vulnerability group, indicating a less stable activity pattern. Consistent with the notion of accumulating risk, results showed the lowest activity rhythm amplitudes in participants in the high-vulnerability group with a history of depression. Secondary investigations showed that mania proneness explained more variance than depression proneness, pointing to specificity of the findings for BD. The data reinforce claims that instability of daily rhythms is a biomarker of trait vulnerability to BD.01/2014; 2(1):86-96. DOI:10.1177/2167702613490158
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ABSTRACT: Mood disorders affect a significant portion of the general population. Cycling mood disorders are characterized by intermittent episodes (or events) of the disease. Using anonymized Web search logs, we identify a population of people with significant interest in mood stabilizing drugs (MSD) and seek evidence of mood swings in this population. We extracted queries to the Microsoft Bing search engine made by 20,046 Web searchers over six months, separately explored searcher demographics using data from a large external panel of users, and sought supporting information from people with mood disorders via a survey. We analyzed changes in information needs over time relative to searches on MSD. Queries for MSD focused on side effects and their relation to the disease. We found evidence of significant changes in search behavior and interests coinciding with days that MSD queries are made. These include large increases (>100%) in the access of nutrition information, commercial information, and adult materials. A survey of patients diagnosed with mood disorders provided evidence that repeated queries on MSD may come with exacerbations of mood disorder. A classifier predicting the occurrence of such queries one day before they are observed obtains strong performance (AUC=0.78). Observed patterns in search behavior align with known behaviors and those highlighted by survey respondents. These observations suggest that searchers showing intensive interest in MSD may be patients who have been prescribed these drugs. Given behavioral dynamics, we surmise that the days on which MSD queries are made may coincide with commencement of mania or depression. Although we do not have data on mood changes and whether users have been diagnosed with bipolar illness, we see evidence of cycling in people who show interest in MSD and further show that we can predict impending shifts in behavior and interest.Journal of Medical Internet Research 02/2014; 16(2):e65. DOI:10.2196/jmir.2664 · 4.67 Impact Factor