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Bipolar Disorder

A psychiatric diagnostic category, previously called manic depression, characterised by mood swings between great energy (manic) and clinical depression.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wiktionary)

About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time.

Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

Bipolar disorder often appears in the late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases start before age 25. Some people have their first symptoms during childhood, while others may develop symptoms late in life.

Bipolar disorder is not easy to spot when it starts. Some people suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout your life...Read more about Bipolar Disorder NIH - National Institute of Mental Health

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Risperidone in the long‐term treatment for bipolar disorder

No studies involving risperidone were identified which randomly assigned treatment for long‐term relapse prevention. Trials involving random assignment of risperidone and other treatments for long‐term treatment are needed.

Tiagabine to treat acute affective episodes in bipolar disorder

This systematic review investigated the evidence base for the efficacy and acceptability of tiagabine compared to placebo and other pharmacological agents in the acute treatment of bipolar disorder. No randomised controlled trials were found. Currently, there is insufficient evidence on which to base any recommendations regarding the use of tiagabine in acute treatment of bipolar illness, either as a single treatment or as an additional treatment. A significant proportion of patients suffered episodes of syncope or seizure. There is a need for randomised controlled trials examining the efficacy and acceptability of tiagabine in the acute treatment of bipolar disorder, after the nature of these episodes has been clarified.

Tiagabine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder

People with bipolar disorder suffer from repeated episodes of severe mood disturbance. These can vary from mania to severe depression.  Sometimes manic and depressive symptoms can occur at the same time. Episodes may also fluctuate frequently, so‐called 'rapid cycling'. Periods of normal mood and function may occur in between these episodes, but this is not always the case.

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Summaries for consumers

Risperidone in the long‐term treatment for bipolar disorder

No studies involving risperidone were identified which randomly assigned treatment for long‐term relapse prevention. Trials involving random assignment of risperidone and other treatments for long‐term treatment are needed.

Tiagabine to treat acute affective episodes in bipolar disorder

This systematic review investigated the evidence base for the efficacy and acceptability of tiagabine compared to placebo and other pharmacological agents in the acute treatment of bipolar disorder. No randomised controlled trials were found. Currently, there is insufficient evidence on which to base any recommendations regarding the use of tiagabine in acute treatment of bipolar illness, either as a single treatment or as an additional treatment. A significant proportion of patients suffered episodes of syncope or seizure. There is a need for randomised controlled trials examining the efficacy and acceptability of tiagabine in the acute treatment of bipolar disorder, after the nature of these episodes has been clarified.

Tiagabine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder

People with bipolar disorder suffer from repeated episodes of severe mood disturbance. These can vary from mania to severe depression.  Sometimes manic and depressive symptoms can occur at the same time. Episodes may also fluctuate frequently, so‐called 'rapid cycling'. Periods of normal mood and function may occur in between these episodes, but this is not always the case.

See all (39)

More about Bipolar Disorder

Photo of an adult

Also called: Manic depressive disorder, Manic depression

Other terms to know:
Depression

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