Clinical and psychometric characterization of depression in mixed mania: A report from the French National Cohort of 1090 manic patients

ArticleinJournal of Affective Disorders 96(3):225-32 · January 2007with4 Reads
Impact Factor: 3.38 · DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2005.01.005 · Source: PubMed


    Despite extensive research recently focused on mixed mania, it is uncertain as how best to define it clinically, psychometrically (which has major bearing on its prevalence), and the methodology needed for future research. This topic is also of historical interest, because Magnan (1890) [Magnan, V., 1890. La Folie Intermittente. G Masson, Paris.] suggested that "combined [mixed] states" linked Falret's "circular insanity" with Baillarger's "dual insanity" (both described in 1854). This work eventually led to the Kraepelinian synthesis of all manic, mixed, and depressive states into the unitary rubric of "manic-depressive insanity (1899/1921).
    EPIMAN-II Thousand" (EPIMAN-II MILLE) is a French national collaborative study, which involved training 317 psychiatrists working in different sites representative of psychiatric practice in France. We recruited 1090 patients hospitalized for acute DSM-IV mania. assessed at index admission by the following measures: the Mania Rating Scale (MRS), the Beigel-Murphy Scale (MSRS), a newly derived checklist of depressive symptoms least contaminated by mania, MADRS for severity of depression, and the SAPS for psychotic features.
    The rate of mixed mania, as defined by at least 2 depressive symptoms, was 30%. Even with this broad definition, we found significantly higher female representation. This clinical sub-type of mania was characterized by high frequency of past diagnostic errors, particularly those of anxiety and personality disorders. Refined definition of co-exiting depression was obtained from an abbreviated version of the MADRS (6 items), with distinct "emotional-cognitive" symptoms, and "psychomotor inhibition" factors, both of which were separable from an "irritable" factor linked to lability and poor judgment. Mixed mania was psychometrically best identified by a MADRS score of 6 (80% sensitivity, 94% specificity) and validated by a mixed polarity of first episodes, a higher rate of recurrence, psychotic features, and suicide attempts.
    Cross-sectional study.
    The data deriving from EPIMAN, the largest and only national study ever conducted on mania, provide definitive characterization of the clinical and psychotic structure of mixed mania, which accounts for 1 out of 3 patients who present with mania. This figure is more accurate than higher rates reported in the literature because, in describing "mixity", we eliminated depressive features that could be contaminated by mania. Despite the prominent affective features described herein, the bipolar nature of mixed mania is often missed, with the result that these patients are diagnosed as having anxiety and/or personality disorders. It is of great public health significance for psychiatrists to recognize the bipolar nature of this condition that has been known as a major phase of manic-depressive illness since at least Magnan, a disciple of Falret and Baillarger.