Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
World Psychiatry. 2011 Oct;10(3):181-6.

Broadening the diagnosis of bipolar disorder: benefits vs. risks.

Author information

  • 1Division of Bipolar Disorders Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0559, USA.

Abstract

There is considerable debate over whether bipolar and related disorders that share common signs and symptoms, but are currently defined as distinct clinical entities in DSM-IV and ICD-10, may be better characterized as falling within a more broadly defined "bipolar spectrum". With a spectrum view in mind, the possibility of broadening the diagnosis of bipolar disorder has been proposed. This paper discusses some of the rationale for an expanded diagnostic scheme from both clinical and research perspectives in light of potential drawbacks. The ultimate goal of broadening the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is to help identify a common etiopathogenesis for these conditions to better guide treatment. To help achieve this goal, bipolar researchers have increasingly expanded their patient populations to identify objective biological or endophenotypic markers that transcend phenomenological observation. Although this approach has and will likely continue to produce beneficial results, the upcoming DSM-IV and ICD-10 revisions will place increasing scrutiny on psychiatry's diagnostic classification systems and pressure to re-evaluate our conceptions of bipolar disorder. However, until research findings can provide consistent and converging evidence as to the validity of a broader diagnostic conception, clinical expansion to a dimensional bipolar spectrum should be considered with caution.

KEYWORDS:

Bipolar I disorder; bipolar II disorder; bipolar spectrum; depression; diagnosis; hypomania; mania

PMID:
21991268
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3188763
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk