Clinical and therapeutic implications of predominant polarity in bipolar disorder
ABSTRACT To determine the clinical and therapeutic relevance of longitudinally predominant polarity for bipolar disorders long-term outcome.
Two hundred twenty-four patients (n=224) were enrolled for the study in the Bipolar Disorders Program of Barcelona, which provides integrated care for difficult-to-treat bipolar patients derived from all over Spain, but also provides clinical care to all bipolar patients coming from a specific catchment area (Eixample Esquerre) in Barcelona. Data collection regarding predominant polarity started on October 1994 and lasted for the following ten years. Patients were divided according to the predominance of depressive or manic/hypomanic episodes. The two groups were compared regarding clinical and sociodemographic variables.
135 patients (60.3%) were classified as Depressive Polarity, whilst 89 (39.7%) were considered as Manic Polarity. Manic Polarity was more prevalent amongst bipolar I patients than bipolar II. Depressive Polarity was strongly associated with depressive onset of bipolar disorder. Lifetime history of attempted suicide was strongly associated with Depressive Polarity, who also had a higher mean number of suicide attempts. As for therapeutic issues, acute and maintenance use of atypical antipsychotics and conventional neuroleptics were more common amongst Manic Polarity whilst antidepressants and lamotrigine use was highly prevalent amongst Depressive Polarity.
Prevention of depression is crucial for the maintenance treatment of bipolar II patients, whilst prevention of mania and depression would be equally important in the case of bipolar I patients. Predominant polarity is a valid prognostic parameter with therapeutic implications.
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ABSTRACT: In bipolar disorders, there are unclear diagnostic boundaries with unipolar depression and schizophrenia, inconsistency of treatment guidelines, relatively long trial-and-error phases of treatment optimization, and increasing use of complex combination therapies lacking empirical evidence. These suggest that the current definition of bipolar disorders based on clinical symptoms reflects a clinically and etiologically heterogeneous entity. Stratification of treatments for bipolar disorders based on biomarkers and improved clinical markers are greatly needed to increase the efficacy of currently available treatments and improve the chances of developing novel therapeutic approaches. This review provides a theoretical framework to identify biomarkers and summarizes the most promising markers for stratification regarding beneficial and adverse treatment effects. State and stage specifiers, neuropsychological tests, neuroimaging, and genetic and epigenetic biomarkers will be discussed with respect to their ability to predict the response to specific pharmacological and psychosocial psychotherapies for bipolar disorders. To date, the most reliable markers are derived from psychopathology and history-taking, while no biomarker has been found that reliably predicts individual treatment responses. This review underlines both the importance of clinical diagnostic skills and the need for biological research to identify markers that will allow the targeting of treatment specifically to sub-populations of bipolar patients who are more likely to benefit from a specific treatment and less likely to develop adverse reactions. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2015; 58(3). DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.12.006 · 5.40 Impact Factor
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