UCLA-led study challenges bipolar depression treatment guidelinesJuly 01, 2003
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.
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.
- UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute: www.npi.ucla.edu
- UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program: www.npi.ucla.edu/uclamdrp/index.htm
- Stanley Medical Research Institute: www.stanleyresearch.org/
University of California - Los Angeles
Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.
Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.
Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.
Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.
A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.
Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.
Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.
Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.
CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.