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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1993 Apr;181(4):238-45.

Bipolar I: a five-year prospective follow-up.

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Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02906.


We explored the course of bipolar I illness in 172 probands who were followed up prospectively for up to 5 years. Probands were grouped into three categories based on whether the symptoms of the index episode were only depressed, only manic, or mixed/cycling. Data were available for recovery from the index episode, subsequent relapse, and rates of recovery from the first prospective episode. Pure manic probands had a significantly faster rate of recovery (median, 6 weeks) than the mixed/cycling probands (median, 17 weeks), and the pure depressive probands had an intermediate rate (median, 11 weeks). After 5 years of follow-up the mixed/cycling patients continue to have the lowest cumulative probability of recovery from the index episode. Mixed/cycling probands also had a substantially faster time to relapse after recovery from the index episode compared with pure manic patients. For those patients who relapsed, the mixed/cycling patients had the lowest cumulative probability of recovery from the first prospectively observed episode. The treatment received by these patients is described and there is a discussion of how this treatment may have influenced the findings on course and outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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