Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UCLA-led Study Challenges Bipolar Depression Treatment Guidelines

Date:
July 2, 2003
Source:
University Of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
A study led by a UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researcher challenges standard treatment guidelines for bipolar depression that recommend discontinuing antidepressants within the first six months after symptoms ease.

A study led by a UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researcher challenges standard treatment guidelines for bipolar depression that recommend discontinuing antidepressants within the first six months after symptoms ease.

Related Articles


Study participants treated under the guidelines relapsed at nearly twice the rate of those who continued taking antidepressants in conjunction with their mood stabilizer medication during the first year after remission of acute bipolar depression. The researchers found no increased risk of manic relapse in those who continued the medication for one year.

The findings appear in the July 2003 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

"The common clinical practice of discontinuing antidepressant use in bipolar patients soon after remission of depression symptoms may actually increase the risk of relapse," said Dr. Lori Altshuler, a professor at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and the study's lead author.

"Long-held concerns regarding a risk of switching into mania may actually interfere with establishing effective guidelines for treating and preventing relapse of bipolar depression," she said. "Guidelines more similar to those of maintenance treatment of unipolar depression may be more appropriate for individuals with bipolar depression who respond well to antidepressants. A controlled, randomized study is needed to address these questions."

Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating cycles of depression and mania. Symptoms of mania include elevated or expansive mood, inflated sense of self-esteem or self-importance, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts and impulsive behavior. Overall, about 3.5 percent of the population has bipolar disorder, occurring equally between men and women.

The study examined 84 individuals with bipolar disorder whose depression symptoms eased with the addition of an antidepressant to an ongoing mood stabilizer. Researchers compared the risk of depression relapse in 43 individuals who discontinued antidepressants within 6 months of remission with the risk of relapse in 41 who continued taking antidepressants.

At one year after improvement of depression symptoms, 70 percent of the antidepressant discontinuation group had relapsed, compared to 36 percent of the continuation group.

The research was supported by the Stanley Medical Research Institute, a Bethesda, Md.-based nonprofit organization that supports research on the causes and treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Three pharmaceutical companies provided free medication but no other financial support.

Altshuler is director of the Mood Disorders Research Program at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. Researchers from seven other Stanley Bipolar Treatment Network sites participated in the study.

The UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute is an interdisciplinary research and education institute devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior, including the genetic, biological, behavioral and sociocultural underpinnings of normal behavior, and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA-led Study Challenges Bipolar Depression Treatment Guidelines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030701215221.htm>.
University Of California - Los Angeles. (2003, July 2). UCLA-led Study Challenges Bipolar Depression Treatment Guidelines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030701215221.htm
University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA-led Study Challenges Bipolar Depression Treatment Guidelines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030701215221.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins