Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Two Predictors of Bipolar Relapse Identified

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Two Predictors of Bipolar Relapse Identified

Article excerpt

PARIS -- Among patients with bipolar I disorder, those with a history of rapid cycling and those who presented with a mixed-index episode had the highest risk of a quick relapse. Dr. Mauricio Tohen said in a poster presentation at the 24th Congress of the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum.

This finding, which is based on a posthoc analysis of data collected from two treatment studies involving 779 patients, suggests that there may be a differential risk of relapse among certain patients with bipolar disorder. Identifying subpopulations that are particularly vulnerable to the disease may aid the management of patients and help in the development of more effective treatment strategies, Dr. Tohen said.

In addition, the finding that patients who rapidly cycle or have a mixed-index episode are more prone to relapse is consistent with the prior observation that these patients are usually less responsive to treatment, added Dr. Tohen, a psychiatrist at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., and at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The two studies used in this analysis were designed to assess the efficacy of the atypical antipsychotic drug olanzapine for maintenance treatment of patients with bipolar I disorder.

In one study, patients were treated with a combination of olanzapine plus lithium for 6-12 weeks on an open-label basis until remission was achieved. Patients were then randomized to either olanzapine or lithium monotherapy in a double-blind fashion for a maintenance phase of 48 weeks. …

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