[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify psychopathological factors associated with long-term functional outcome in euthymic bipolar disorder patients and to test new measures of mood instability and symptoms intensity. METHOD: Fifty-five patients with more than 12 months of follow-up were included. In addition to traditional clinical variables, the time spent ill was documented using a modified life-charting technique based on NIHM life-charting method. New measures, Mood Instability Factor, and Mood Intensity Factor were defined and assessed. Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST) was used to assess disability. RESULTS: The follow-up period was 3.00 ± 1.51 years. Weeks with subsyndromal depressive symptoms (β = 0.133, t = 2.556, P = 0.014), weeks with mild manic symptoms (β = 1.441, t = 3.10, P = 0.003), and the Mood Instability Factor (β = 0.105, t = 3.593, P = 0.001) contributed to approximately 46% of the FAST total score variance. CONCLUSION: New methodologies including subsyndromal symptoms and mood instability parameters might contribute to understand the worse long-term functional outcome that affects a considerable percentage of BD patients even after episode remission. Concerns about therapeutic approaches are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The relationship between neurocognitive impairment and clinical course in bipolar disorder (BD) is inconclusive. The aim of this study was to compare time to recurrence between patients with and without clinically significant cognitive impairment. METHODS: Seventy euthymic patients with BD were included. Based on baseline neurocognitive performance, patients were divided into those with (n=49) and those without (n=21) clinically significant cognitive impairment. Both groups of patients were prospectivelly assessed by a modified life chart method during a mean of 16.3 months. RESULTS: Patients with some cognitive domain compromised had an increased risk of suffering any recurrence (HR: 3.13; CI 95%: 1.64-5.96), hypo/manic episodes (HR: 2.42; CI 95%: 1.13-5.19), or depressive episodes (HR: 3.84, CI 95%: 1.66-8.84) compared with those patients without clinically significant cognitive impairment. These associations remained significant after adjusting for several potential counfounders such as number of previous episodes, time since last episode, clinical subtype of BD, exposure to antipsychotics, and subclinical symptoms. LIMITATIONS: We classified patients as with or without clinically significant cognitive impairment, although deficits in different cognitive domains may not be equivalent in terms of risk of recurrence. CONCLUSIONS: The results did not support the hypothesis that the experience of successive episodes is related to a progressive neurocognitive decline. On the contrary, cognitive impairment could be the cause more than the consequence of poorer clinical course. Alternatively, a specific subgroup of patients with clinically significant cognitive impairment and a progressive illness in terms of counts of recurrence and shortening of wellness intervals might explain the association showed in this study.
Journal of affective disorders 12/2012; · 3.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study of 53 persons with bipolar disorder (BD) was to evaluate the relationship between history of exposure to antidepressants (AD) and mood stabilizers (MS) and the percentage of time spent ill.
BD outpatients with more than 12 months of prospective follow-up were included. Outcome was documented using a life charting technique. Current and previous exposure to AD and MS were assessed using a scale that provides a quantitative measure of exposure to psychotropic medications. Regression models were used to correct for possible confounders.
Previous treatment with AD was an independent predictor of polarity changes (P < .001) and mixed symptoms (P = .01). In contrast, "years of exposure to MS" was an independent predictor of time spent asymptomatic (P = .019). The ratio between exposure to AD vs MS was associated with less weeks asymptomatic (P = .03), more mixed symptomatology (P = .019), and more polarity changes (P = .001).
Antidepressant exposure was a major predictor of mood instability in the long-term outcome of BD. The ratio used of previous exposure to AD vs MS was associated with poor outcomes, suggesting that the harmful effect of AD may be additive and related to how much they are used.
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 08/2011; 23(3):186-92. · 1.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar Disorders are among the ten leading causes of morbity and lithium is considered first-line treatment and the most cost-effective. Nevertheless, its use takes a back seat to other treatment options less effective, safe and more expensive; and the reasons for this remains unclear. The present study investigates clinical concepts related to its underutilization.
An anonymous questionnaire concerning different aspects of lithium clinical use (compared efficacy, adverse effects, practical aspects regarding its use, use in special populations) was administered during the XXV Congress of the Argentinean Psychiatrist Association.
164 questionnaires were analyzed. Less than one-third of the sample referred lithium as their most frequent treatment option, although almost 60% qualified it as effective. Almost two-thirds considered its utilization as more complex and ill-ascribed adverse effects to it. One third referred not to use it in youth and senior populations.
Contrary to current recommendations, lithium is under utilized. This is the first report on the possible causes leading to such phenomena, which can be related to ill concepts regarding its safety, clinical use and adverse effects; although not to its effectiveness.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The main aim of this study was to compare patients with euthymic bipolar I (BDI) and bipolar II (BDII) disorders and healthy controls in measures of social cognition. Additional aims were to explore the association between social cognition performance with neurocognitive impairments and psychosocial functioning. Eighty one euthymic patients with BDI or BDII and 34 healthy controls were included. All subjects completed tests to assess verbal memory, attention, and executive functions. Additionally theory of mind (ToM) and facial emotion recognition measures were included. Psychosocial functioning was assessed with the GAF. Both groups of patients had lower performance than healthy controls in ToM, and a lower recognition of fear facial expression. When neurocognitive impairments and exposure to medications were controlled, performance in ToM and recognition of fear facial expression did not allow predicting if a subject was patient or healthy control. Social cognition measures not enhance variance beyond explained by neurocognitive impairments and they were not independent predictors of psychosocial functioning. Impairments in facial emotion recognition and ToM are mediated, at least partly, by attention-executive functions deficits and exposure to psychotropic medications. Likewise, social cognition measures did not contribute to variance beyond neurocognitive impairments.
Psychiatry Research 05/2011; 189(3):379-84. · 2.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Valproate-induced hyperammonemic encephalopathy is a rare but severe and potentially fatal adverse event. Frequently, the use of valproic acid produces an elevation of ammonia levels. In some people, this is associated with the development of encephalopathy without evidence of liver failure, usually reversible with discontinuation or dose reduction. Although there is important evidence about this adverse event in patients with neurologic disorders, the data in the psychiatric setting is scarce. We review the available studies and case reports about valproate-induced hyperammonemic encephalopathy in people treated with valproic acid for psychiatric disorders. We describe the clinical and therapeutic characteristics, and the physiology of this adverse event.