Bipolar II disorder: Epidemiology, diagnosis and management

ArticleinCNS Drugs 21(9):727-40 · February 2007with37 Reads
Impact Factor: 5.11 · Source: PubMed

Bipolar II disorder (BP-II) is defined, by DSM-IV, as recurrent episodes of depression and hypomania. Hypomania, according to DSM-IV, requires elevated (euphoric) and/or irritable mood, plus at least three of the following symptoms (four if mood is only irritable): grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, increased talking, racing thoughts, distractibility, overactivity (an increase in goal-directed activity), psychomotor agitation and excessive involvement in risky activities. This observable change in functioning should not be severe enough to cause marked impairment of social or occupational functioning, or to require hospitalisation. The distinction between BP-II and bipolar I disorder (BP-I) is not clearcut. The symptoms of mania (defining BP-I) and hypomania (defining BP-II) are the same, apart from the presence of psychosis in mania, and the distinction is based on the presence of marked impairment associated with mania, i.e. mania is more severe and may require hospitalisation. This is an unclear boundary that can lead to misclassification; however, the fact that hypomania often increases functioning makes the distinction between mania and hypomania clearer. BP-II depression can be syndromal and subsyndromal, and it is the prominent feature of BP-II. It is often a mixed depression, i.e. it has concurrent, usually subsyndromal, hypomanic symptoms. It is the depression that usually leads the patient to seek treatment.DSM-IV bipolar disorders (BP-I, BP-II, cyclothymic disorder and bipolar disorder not otherwise classified, which includes very rapid cycling and recurrent hypomania) are now considered to be part of the 'bipolar spectrum'. This is not included in DSM-IV, but is thought to also include antidepressant/substance-associated hypomania, cyclothymic temperament (a trait of highly unstable mood, thinking and behaviour), unipolar mixed depression and highly recurrent unipolar depression.BP-II is underdiagnosed in clinical practice, and its pharmacological treatment is understudied. Underdiagnosis is demonstrated by recent epidemiological studies. While, in DSM-IV, BP-II is reported to have a lifetime community prevalence of 0.5%, epidemiological studies have instead found that it has a lifetime community prevalence (including the bipolar spectrum) of around 5%. In depressed outpatients, one in two may have BP-II. The recent increased diagnosing of BP-II in research settings is related to several factors, including the introduction of the use of semi-structured interviews by trained research clinicians, a relaxation of diagnostic criteria such that the minimum duration of hypomania is now less than the 4 days stipulated by DSM-IV, and a probing for a history of hypomania focused more on overactivity (increased goal-directed activity) than on mood change (although this is still required for a diagnosis of hypomania). Guidelines on the treatment of BP-II are mainly consensus based and tend to follow those for the treatment of BP-I, because there have been few controlled studies of the treatment of BP-II. The current, limited evidence supports the following lines of treatment for BP-II. Hypomania is likely to respond to the same agents useful for mania, i.e. mood-stabilising agents such as lithium and valproate, and the second-generation antipsychotics (i.e. olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, ziprasidone, aripiprazole). Hypomania should be treated even if associated with overfunctioning, because a depression often soon follows hypomania (the hypomania-depression cycle). For the treatment of acute BP-II depression, two controlled studies of quetiapine have not found clearcut positive effects. Naturalistic studies, although open to several biases, have found antidepressants in acute BP-II depression to be as effective as in unipolar depression; however, one recent large controlled study (mainly in patients with BP-I) has found antidepressants to be no more effective than placebo. Results from naturalistic studies and clinical observations on mixed depression, while in need of replication in controlled studies, indicate that antidepressants may worsen the concurrent intradepression hypomanic symptoms. The only preventive treatment for both depression and hypomania that is supported by several, albeit older, controlled studies is lithium. Lamotrigine has shown some efficacy in delaying depression recurrences, but there have also been several negative unpublished studies of the drug in this indication.

    • "...hat depression often dominates the course of BD, evinced by its frequent misdiagnosis as MDD (Benazzi, 2007). The current gold standard for diagnosis of BD is the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SC..."
      The clinical relevance for screening and monitoring individuals with comorbid BD in FM patients is underscored by the data reviewed herein, where treatment selection could directly or indirectly affect illness trajectory, morbidity , and mortality. A separate, but related, concern in treating individuals with FM that are at risk for or are diagnosed with BD is that depression often dominates the course of BD, evinced by its frequent misdiagnosis as MDD (Benazzi, 2007). The current gold standard for diagnosis of BD is the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) conducted by mental health practitioners; however, even this diagnostic method can be subject to relatively low sensitivity and specificity (0.45 and 0.74, respectively) depending on the patient's presentation and examiner experience (Benazzi and Rihmer, 2000).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disorder with high morbidity and significant health service utilization costs. Few studies have reported on the phenotypic overlap of FM and bipolar disorder (BD). The aim of this review is to qualitatively and quantitatively summarize the results and clinical implications of the extant literature on the co-occurrence of FM and BD. Methods: A systematic search of PubMed/Medline, Cochrane, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Embase was conducted to search for relevant articles. Articles were included if incidence and/or prevalence of BD was determined in the FM sample. Results of prevalence were pooled from all studies. Pooled odds ratio (OR) was calculated based on case-control studies using standard meta-analytic methods. Results: A total of nine studies were included. The pooled rate of BD comorbidity in samples of FM patients was 21% (n=678); however, results varied greatly as a function of study methodology. Case-controlled studies revealed a pooled OR of 7.55 of BD co-morbidity in samples of FM patients [95% Confidence Interval (CI)=3.9-14.62, FM n=268, controls n=413] with low heterogeneity (I(2)=0%). Limitations: The current study was limited by the low number of available studies and heterogeneity of study methods and results. Conclusions: These data strongly suggest an association between BD and FM. Future studies employing a validated diagnostic screen are needed in order to more accurately determine the prevalence of BD in FM. An adequate psychiatric assessment is recommended in FM patients with suspected symptoms consistent with BD prior to administration of antidepressants in the treatment of FM.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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    • "...what mechanisms are behind the different management effects in these two types of bipolar disorder [4]. Biological studies for example, have shown some promises in this regard. ..."
      Moreover, for patients with resistance to pharmacotherapies, the electroconvulsant therapy is more effective in BD II than that in BD I [6] . Scholars are wondering what mechanisms are behind the different management effects in these two types of bipolar disorder [4]. Biological studies for example, have shown some promises in this regard.
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder types I (BD I) and II (BD II) behave differently in clinical manifestations, normal personality traits, responses to pharmacotherapies, biochemical backgrounds and neuroimaging activations. How the varied emotional states of BD I and II are related to the comorbid personality disorders remains to be settled. We therefore administered the Plutchick - van Praag Depression Inventory (PVP), the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), the Hypomanic Checklist-32 (HCL-32), and the Parker Personality Measure (PERM) in 37 patients with BD I, 34 BD II, and in 76 healthy volunteers. Compared to the healthy volunteers, patients with BD I and II scored higher on some PERM styles, PVP, MDQ and HCL-32 scales. In BD I, the PERM Borderline style predicted the PVP scale; and Antisocial predicted HCL-32. In BD II, Borderline, Dependant, Paranoid (-) and Schizoid (-) predicted PVP; Borderline predicted MDQ; Passive-Aggressive and Schizoid (-) predicted HCL-32. In controls, Borderline and Narcissistic (-) predicted PVP; Borderline and Dependant (-) predicted MDQ. Besides confirming the different predictability of the 11 functioning styles of personality disorder to BD I and II, we found that the prediction was more common in BD II, which might underlie its higher risk of suicide and poorer treatment outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · PLoS ONE
    Jiashu Yao Jiashu Yao You Xu You Xu Yanhua Qin Yanhua Qin +3 more authors... Jing Liu Jing Liu
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    • "..., cyclothymic disorder, depressive mixed state, and the so-called bipolar spectrum disorder (BSD).1–5 ..."
      Recent advances in psychiatry have increased our understanding of bipolar spectrum disorders and have further characterized the nature of conditions such as bipolar II disorder, the soft form of bipolar disorder, cyclothymic disorder, depressive mixed state, and the so-called bipolar spectrum disorder (BSD).1–5
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose Despite a growing body of knowledge on bipolar spectrum disorder (BSD), relatively little is known about the clinical characteristics of BSD in elderly people. We investigated the prevalence of BSD in elderly patients with recurrent depression. Patients and methods A total of 65 elderly outpatients (≥60 years of age) who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV criteria for recurrent major depressive disorder participated in the study. BSD was diagnosed according to the criteria developed by Ghaemi et al and the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) was used to assess bipolarity. Results Of 65 subjects, eleven (16.9%) and 54 (83.1%) were diagnosed with BSD and unipolar depression, respectively. A total of 32.3% (n=22) had a positive screen for bipolar disorder, and we found a significant association between the BSD criteria and the criteria for a positive MDQ (P<0.001). Patients with BSD had a longer duration of illness (P=0.040) and more prior depressive episodes (P<0.001) than did those with unipolar depression. The BSD criteria of first-degree relative with bipolar disorder (P=0.030), antidepressant-induced hypomania (P=0.034), hyperthymic personality (P=0.001), and atypical depression (P=0.030) were highly associated with MDQ-positive patients. Conclusion Our results indicate that many depressed elderly patients have bipolar-related illness; moreover, some features of the depression are associated with bipolarity.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
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