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J Affect Disord. 2009 Jan;112(1-3):59-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.04.019. Epub 2008 Jun 9.

The structure of lifetime manic-hypomanic spectrum.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnology, School of Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy.



The observation that bipolar disorders frequently go unrecognized has prompted the development of screening instruments designed to improve the identification of bipolarity in clinical and non-clinical samples. Starting from a lifetime approach, researchers of the Spectrum Project developed the Mood Spectrum Self-Report (MOODS-SR) that assesses threshold-level manifestations of unipolar and bipolar mood psychopathology, but also atypical symptoms, behavioral traits and temperamental features. The aim of the present study is to examine the structure of mania/hypomania using 68 items of the MOODS-SR that explore cognitive, mood and energy/activity features associated with mania/hypomania.


A data pool of 617 patients with bipolar disorders, recruited at Pittsburgh and Pisa, Italy was used for this purpose. Classical exploratory factor analysis, based on a tetrachoric matrix, was carried out on the 68 items, followed by an Item Response Theory (IRT)-based factor analytic approach.


Nine factors were initially identified, that include Psychomotor Activation, Creativity, Mixed Instability, Sociability/Extraversion, Spirituality/Mysticism/Psychoticism, Mixed Irritability, Inflated Self-esteem, Euphoria, Wastefulness/Recklessness, and account overall for 56.4% of the variance of items. In a subsequent IRT-based bi-factor analysis, only five of them (Psychomotor Activation, Mixed Instability, Spirituality/Mysticism/Psychoticism, Mixed Irritability, Euphoria) were retained.


Our data confirm the central role of Psychomotor Activation in mania/hypomania and support the definitions of pure manic (Psychomotor Activation and Euphoria) and mixed manic (Mixed Instability and Mixed Irritability) components, bearing the opportunity to identify patients with specific profiles for a better clinical and neurobiological definition.

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