Deakin University

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: A Review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-27, 05:01 authored by AA Nierenberg, B Agustini, O Köhler-Forsberg, C Cusin, D Katz, LG Sylvia, A Peters, Michael BerkMichael Berk
Importance: Bipolar disorder affects approximately 8 million adults in the US and approximately 40 million individuals worldwide. Observations: Bipolar disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of depression and mania or hypomania. Bipolar depressive episodes are similar to major depressive episodes. Manic and hypomanic episodes are characterized by a distinct change in mood and behavior during discrete time periods. The age of onset is usually between 15 and 25 years, and depression is the most frequent initial presentation. Approximately 75% of symptomatic time consists of depressive episodes or symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are associated with a more favorable prognosis. Diagnosis and optimal treatment are often delayed by a mean of approximately 9 years following an initial depressive episode. Long-term treatment consists of mood stabilizers, such as lithium, valproate, and lamotrigine. Antipsychotic agents, such as quetiapine, aripiprazole, asenapine, lurasidone, and cariprazine, are recommended, but some are associated with weight gain. Antidepressants are not recommended as monotherapy. More than 50% of patients with bipolar disorder are not adherent to treatment. Life expectancy is reduced by approximately 12 to 14 years in people with bipolar disorder, with a 1.6-fold to 2-fold increase in cardiovascular mortality occurring a mean of 17 years earlier compared with the general population. Prevalence rates of metabolic syndrome (37%), obesity (21%), cigarette smoking (45%), and type 2 diabetes (14%) are higher among people with bipolar disorder, contributing to the risk of early mortality. The annual suicide rate is approximately 0.9% among individuals with bipolar disorder, compared with 0.014% in the general population. Approximately 15% to 20% of people with bipolar disorder die by suicide. Conclusions and Relevance: Bipolar disorder affects approximately 8 million adults in the US. First-line therapy includes mood stabilizers, such as lithium, anticonvulsants, such as valproate and lamotrigine, and atypical antipsychotic drugs, such as quetiapine, aripiprazole, asenapine, lurasidone, and cariprazine..



JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association






Chicago, Ill.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal




American Medical Association