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1.  Clinical Correlates of Patients With Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder and a Recent History of Substance Use Disorder: A Subtype Comparison From Baseline Data of 2 Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trials 
The Journal of clinical psychiatry  2008;69(7):1057-1063.
To compare clinical variables in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar I or II disorder and a recent history of substance use disorder (SUD).
Cross-sectional data from 2 studies of patients with rapid-cycling bipolar I disorder or rapid-cycling bipolar II disorder and a recent history of SUD were used to retrospectively assess the differences in clinical variables between the subtypes. The studies were conducted from November 1997 to February 2007 at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio. Extensive clinical interview and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview were used to ascertain DSM-IV diagnoses of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, SUDs, and other Axis I disorders and to collect clinical variables. The Addiction Severity Index (ASI), Global Assessment Scale (GAS), and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-ltem Short-Form Health Survey were used to measure the severity of impairment at the initial assessment. One-way analysis of variance or χ2 was used for significance tests. A Bonferroni adjustment was applied for multiple comparisons.
Of 245 patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder (rapid-cycling bipolar I disorder, N = 191; rapid-cycling bipolar II disorder, N = 54) and a recent history of SUD, the demographics were similar. A significantly higher rate of panic disorder was observed in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar I disorder than in those with rapid-cycling bipolar II disorder (odds ratio = 3.72, 95% CI = 1.66 to 8.32, p = .008). A significantly higher psychiatric composite score on the ASI was also found in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar I disorder than in those with rapid-cycling bipolar II disorder even after Bonferroni adjustment (p = .0007). There were no significant differences between the subtypes in the rates of previous hospitalization or suicide attempt, early childhood verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, lifetime substance abuse or dependence, the number of SUDs or mood episodes in the last 12 months, and total or other subscale scores on ASI and GAS.
Except for the significantly higher rate of comorbid panic disorder and higher psychiatric composite scores on the ASI in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar I disorder than in those with rapid-cycling bipolar II disorder, the other clinical variables were similar between the 2 groups.
PMCID: PMC4285700  PMID: 18588360
2.  The International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) Task Force Report on Antidepressant Use in Bipolar Disorders 
The American journal of psychiatry  2013;170(11):1249-1262.
The risk-benefit profile of antidepressant medications in bipolar disorder is controversial. When conclusive evidence is lacking, expert consensus can guide treatment decisions. The International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) convened a task force to seek consensus recommendations on the use of antidepressants in bipolar disorders.
An expert task force iteratively developed consensus through serial consensus-based revisions using the Delphi method. Initial survey items were based on systematic review of the literature. Subsequent surveys included new or reworded items and items that needed to be rerated. This process resulted in the final ISBD Task Force clinical recommendations on antidepressant use in bipolar disorder.
There is striking incongruity between the wide use of and the weak evidence base for the efficacy and safety of antidepressant drugs in bipolar disorder. Few well-designed, long-term trials of prophylactic benefits have been conducted, and there is insufficient evidence for treatment benefits with antidepressants combined with mood stabilizers. A major concern is the risk for mood switch to hypomania, mania, and mixed states. Integrating the evidence and the experience of the task force members, a consensus was reached on 12 statements on the use of antidepressants in bipolar disorder.
Because of limited data, the task force could not make broad statements endorsing antidepressant use but acknowledged that individual bipolar patients may benefit from antidepressants. Regarding safety, serotonin reuptake inhibitors and bupropion may have lower rates of manic switch than tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants and norepinephrine-serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The frequency and severity of antidepressant-associated mood elevations appear to be greater in bipolar I than bipolar II disorder. Hence, in bipolar I patients antidepressants should be prescribed only as an adjunct to mood-stabilizing medications.
PMCID: PMC4091043  PMID: 24030475
3.  Linkage Disequilibrium Mapping of the Chromosome 6q21–22.31 Bipolar I Disorder Susceptibility Locus 
We previously reported genome-wide significant evidence for linkage between chromosome 6q and bipolar I disorder (BPI) by performing a meta-analysis of original genotype data from 11 genome scan linkage studies. We now present follow-up linkage disequilibrium mapping of the linked region utilizing 3,047 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in a case–control sample (N = 530 cases, 534 controls) and family-based sample (N = 256 nuclear families, 1,301 individuals). The strongest single SNP result (rs6938431, P=6.72× 10−5) was observed in the case–control sample, near the solute carrier family 22, member 16 gene (SLC22A16). In a replication study, we genotyped 151 SNPs in an independent sample (N = 622 cases, 1,181 controls) and observed further evidence of association between variants at SLC22A16 and BPI. Although consistent evidence of association with any single variant was not seen across samples, SNP-wise and gene-based test results in the three samples provided convergent evidence for association with SLC22A16, a carnitine transporter, implicating this gene as a novel candidate for BPI risk. Further studies in larger samples are warranted to clarify which, if any, genes in the 6q region confer risk for bipolar disorder.
PMCID: PMC4067321  PMID: 19308960
bipolar disorder; genetic; association; SLC22A16; 6q
4.  Smoking is a predictor of depression onset among National Guard soldiers 
Psychiatry research  2013;206(0):321-323.
This paper aimed to investigate the relationship between smoking and depression in a sample of American soldiers. Persistent, active smoking is associated with increased risk of incident depression at follow up. History of smoking in the absence of current smoking at baseline was not associated with depression at follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3701300  PMID: 23291043
smoking; depression; military
5.  Retrospective age-at-onset of bipolar disorder and outcome during two-year follow-up: results from the STEP-BD study 
Bipolar disorders  2009;11(4):391-400.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder are increasingly recognized among children and adolescents, but little is known about the course of bipolar disorder among adults who experience childhood onset of symptoms.
We examined prospective outcomes during up to two years of naturalistic treatment among 3,658 adult bipolar I and II outpatients participating in a multicenter clinical effectiveness study, the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD). Age at illness onset was identified retrospectively by clinician assessment at study entry.
Compared to patients with onset of mood symptoms after age 18 years (n = 1,187), those with onset before age 13 years (n = 1,068) experienced earlier recurrence of mood episodes after initial remission, fewer days of euthymia, and greater impairment in functioning and quality of life over the two-year follow-up. Outcomes for those with onset between age 13 and 18 years (n = 1,403) were generally intermediate between these two groups.
Consistent with previous reports in smaller cohorts, adults with retrospectively obtained early-onset bipolar disorder appear to be at greater risk for recurrence, chronicity of mood symptoms, and functional impairment during prospective observation.
PMCID: PMC3992980  PMID: 19500092
age of onset; bipolar disorder; chronicity; depression; maintenance; mania; recurrence
6.  Cigarette smoking and subsequent risk of suicidal ideation among National Guard Soldiers 
Journal of affective disorders  2012;145(1):111-114.
Suicide rates are alarmingly high among military personnel, and particularly Army National Guard soldiers. Smoking is also disproportionately common in the military. In this study, we intend to investigate the relationship between cigarette smoking and suicidal ideation among a representative sample of national guard soldiers.
A representative sample of Ohio Army National Guard soldiers were followed prospectively and information was gathered on smoking, suicidal ideation and depression at baseline and one year later.
Smoking at baseline was associated with significantly increased likelihood of suicidal ideation at follow-up (OR=2.0 (1.3, 3.2)). This association persisted after adjusting for demographics and history of depression at baseline, but was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for depression at follow-up.
Measurement of smoking was somewhat limited.
Army National Guard soldiers who smoke have a greater risk of subsequent suicidal ideation. Depression concurrent with suicidal ideation appears to explain this relationship. If these results are replicated, screening of soldiers who smoke may be recommended as a proactive step towards mitigating the high risk of suicide in military personnel.
PMCID: PMC3701306  PMID: 23141668
military; smoking; suicide; epidemiology; depression
8.  Depressive Symptoms and Diabetes 
PMCID: PMC3904750  PMID: 19001617
9.  General Medical Burden in Bipolar Disorder: Findings from the LiTMUS Comparative Effectiveness Trial 
Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica  2013;129(1):10.1111/acps.12101.
This study examined general medical illnesses and their association with clinical features of bipolar disorder.
Data were cross-sectional and derived from the Lithium Treatment – Moderate Dose Use Study (LiTMUS), which randomized symptomatic adults (n=264 with available medical comorbidity scores) with bipolar disorder to moderate doses of lithium plus optimized treatment (OPT) or to OPT alone. Clinically significant high and low medical comorbidity burden were defined as a Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS) score ≥ 4 and < 4, respectively.
The baseline prevalence of significant medical comorbidity was 53% (n=139). Patients with high medical burden were more likely to present in a major depressive episode (P=.04), meet criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder (P=.02), and experience a greater number of lifetime mood episodes (P=0.02). They were also more likely to be prescribed a greater number of psychotropic medications (P=.002). Sixty-nine percent of the sample was overweight or obese as defined by body mass index (BMI), with African-Americans representing the racial group with the highest proportion of stage II obesity (BMI ≥ 35; 31%, n=14).
The burden of comorbid medical illnesses was high in this generalizable sample of treatment-seeking patients and appears associated with worsened course of illness and psychotropic medication patterns. (Funded by NIMH Contract N01MH80001; number NCT00667745).
PMCID: PMC3789858  PMID: 23465084
Bipolar disorder; medical comorbidity; obesity; lithium; effectiveness
10.  Lamotrigine as add-on treatment to lithium and divalproex: lessons learned from a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in rapid-cycling bipolar disorder 
Bipolar disorders  2012;14(7):780-789.
A substantial portion of the morbidity associated with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder (RCBD) stems from refractory depression. This study assessed the antidepressant effects of lamotrigine as compared with placebo when used as add-on therapy for rapid-cycling bipolar depression non-responsive to the combination of lithium plus divalproex.
During Phase 1 of this trial, hypomanic, manic, mixed, and/or depressed outpatients (n = 133) aged 18–65 with DSM-IV RCBD type I or II were initially treated with the open combination of lithium and divalproex for up to 16 weeks. During Phase 2, subjects who did not meet the criteria for stabilization (n = 49) (i.e., remained or cycled into the depressed phase) were randomly assigned to double-blind, adjunctive lamotrigine (n = 23) or adjunctive placebo (n = 26). The primary endpoint was the mean change in depression symptom severity from the beginning of Phase 2 to the end of Phase 2 (week 12) on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score. Data were analyzed by analysis of covariance with last observation carried forward and a mixed-models analysis.
During Phase 1, a high rate of study discontinuations occurred due to intolerable side effects (13/133; 10%) and study non-adherence (22/133; 17%). Only 14% (19/133) stabilized on the open combination of lithium and divalproex. Among the 49 (37%) patients randomized to the double-blind adjunctive treatment phase, mean ± standard error change from baseline on the MADRS total score was −8.5 ± 1.7 points for lamotrigine and −9.1 ± 1.5 points for placebo (p = NS; mixed-models analysis). No significant differences were observed in the rates of response, remission, or bimodal response between lamotrigine and placebo.
The poor tolerability, lack of efficacy, and high rate of early discontinuation with the combination of lithium and divalproex suggests this regimen was ineffective for the majority of patients with RCBD. Among patients who did not stabilize on lithium and divalproex, the addition of lamotrigine was no more effective than placebo in reducing depression severity. The findings suggest an opportunity for several design modifications to enhance signal detection in future trials of RCBD. The main limitation is the small number of subjects randomized to double-blind treatment.
PMCID: PMC3640341  PMID: 23107222
rapid-cycling; bipolar depression; failed clinical trial; combination treatment; lamotrigine; lithium; divalproex
11.  Quetiapine monotherapy in bipolar II depression: combined data from four large, randomized studies 
Despite being present in up to 1% of the population, few controlled trials have examined the efficacy of treatments for bipolar II depression. Pooled data are presented from four placebo-controlled studies (BOLDER I [5077US/0049] and II [D1447C00135]; EMBOLDEN I [D1447C00001] and II [D1447C00134]) that evaluated the efficacy of quetiapine monotherapy for depressive episodes in patients with bipolar II disorder.
All studies included an 8-week, double-blind treatment phase in which patients were randomly assigned to treatment with quetiapine 300 mg/day, quetiapine 600 mg/day, or placebo. Outcome measures included the change from baseline in MADRS total score at week 8, effect sizes, and MADRS response and remission rates.
Results and discussion
Improvements in mean MADRS total scores from baseline to week 8 were significantly greater with quetiapine 300 and 600 mg/day (−15.58 [n = 283] and −14.88 [n = 289]; p < 0.001) compared with placebo (−11.61 [n = 204]). The MADRS effect sizes were 0.44 for quetiapine 300 mg/day and 0.47 for 600 mg/day (p < 0.001 vs placebo). Significantly higher proportions of patients receiving quetiapine, at both doses, than placebo-treated patients achieved response and remission at week 8 (p < 0.01). Common adverse events associated with quetiapine (both doses) included dry mouth, somnolence, sedation, dizziness, and headache. Rates of mania and hypomania were similar for quetiapine and placebo. Quetiapine monotherapy demonstrated significant efficacy compared with placebo and was generally well tolerated in the treatment of bipolar II depression.
PMCID: PMC4230312  PMID: 25505677
Bipolar II depression; Efficacy; Monotherapy; Quetiapine; Tolerability
12.  Methods to Limit Attrition in Longitudinal Comparative Effectiveness Trials: Lessons from the Lithium Use for Bipolar Disorder (LiTMUS) Study 
High attrition rates which occur frequently in longitudinal clinical trials of interventions for bipolar disorder limit the interpretation of results.
The aim of this article is to present design approaches that limited attrition in the Lithium Use for Bipolar Disorder (LiTMUS) Study.
LiTMUS was a 6-month randomized, longitudinal multi-site comparative effectiveness trial that examined bipolar participants who were at least mildly ill. Participants were randomized to either low to moderate doses of lithium or no lithium, in addition to other treatments needed for mood stabilization administered in a guideline-informed, empirically supported, and personalized fashion (N=283).
Components of the study design that may have contributed to the low attrition rate of the study included use of: (1) an intent-to-treat design; (2) a randomized adjunctive single-blind design; (3) participant reimbursement; (4) intent-to-attend the next study visit (includes a discussion of attendance obstacles when intention is low); (5) quality care with limited participant burden; and (6) target windows for study visits.
Site differences and the effectiveness and tolerability data have not been analyzed yet.
These components of the LiTMUS study design may have reduced the probability of attrition which would inform the design of future randomized clinical effectiveness trials.
PMCID: PMC3700408  PMID: 22076437
Attrition; Randomized Clinical Trial Design; Bipolar disorder; Lithium
13.  Metabolic syndrome in patients enrolled in a clinical trial of aripiprazole in the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder 
The Journal of clinical psychiatry  2010;71(9):1138-1144.
To compare the effects of maintenance treatment with aripiprazole or placebo on the incidence of metabolic syndrome in bipolar disorder.
Patients with bipolar I disorder were stabilized on aripiprazole for 6–18 weeks prior to double-blind randomization to aripiprazole or placebo for 26 weeks. The rate of metabolic syndrome in each group was calculated at maintenance phase baseline (randomization) and endpoint for evaluable patients using an LOCF approach. Metabolic syndrome was defined using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria.
At entry into the maintenance phase, overall 45/125 patients (36.0%) met criteria for metabolic syndrome. Mean changes in the five components of metabolic syndrome (waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose) from baseline to Week 26 were small except for a meaningful reduction in triglycerides (placebo −18.9 mg/dL; aripiprazole −11.5 mg/dL). By the end of the maintenance phase (endpoint, LOCF), 5/18 placebo-treated patients (27.8%) and 4/14 aripiprazole-treated patients (28.6%) no longer met metabolic syndrome criteria. The proportion of patients with metabolic syndrome was similar in the placebo and aripiprazole groups both at baseline and Week 26. There were no significant changes in any of the individual components of metabolic syndrome between aripiprazole- and placebo-treated patients during maintenance phase treatment.
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with bipolar disorder is higher than commonly reported in the general population. The effect of 26 weeks of treatment with aripiprazole on the incidence of metabolic syndrome and its components was similar to placebo.
PMCID: PMC3590811  PMID: 20492838
bipolar disorder; metabolic syndrome; cholesterol; obesity; triglycerides; blood pressure; maintenance trial
14.  A 6-Month, Double-Blind, Maintenance Trial of Lithium Monotherapy Versus the Combination of Lithium and Divalproex for Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder and Co-Occurring Substance Abuse or Dependence 
To assess whether combination treatment with lithium and divalproex is more effective than lithium monotherapy in prolonging the time to mood episode recurrence in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder (RCBD) and comorbid substance abuse and/or dependence.
A 6-month, double-blind, parallel group comparison was carried out in recently manic/hypomanic/mixed patients who had demonstrated a persistent bimodal response to combined treatment with lithium and divalproex. Subjects were randomly assigned to remain on combination treatment or to discontinue divalproex and remain on lithium monotherapy.
Of 149 patients enrolled into the open-label acute stabilization phase, 79% discontinued prematurely (poor adherence: 42%; nonresponse: 25%; intolerable side effects: 10%). Of 31 patients (21%) randomly assigned to double-blind maintenance treatment, 55% relapsed (24% into depression and 76% into a manic/hypomanic/mixed episode), 26% completed the study, and 19% were poorly adherent or exited prematurely. The median time to recurrence of a new mood episode was 15.9 weeks for patients receiving lithium monotherapy and 17.8 weeks for patients receiving the combination of lithium and divalproex (p=NS). The rate of relapse into a mood episode for those receiving lithium monotherapy or the combination of lithium and divalproex was 56% and 53%, respectively. The rate of depressive relapse in both arms was 13%, while the rate of relapse into a manic, hypomanic, or mixed episode was 44% for lithium monotherapy and 40% for the combination of lithium and divalproex.
A small subgroup of patients in this study stabilized after six months of treatment with lithium plus divalproex. Of those who did, the addition of divalproex to lithium conferred no additional prophylactic benefit over lithium alone. Although depression is regarded as the hallmark of RCBD in general, these data suggest that recurrent episodes of mania tend to be more common in presentations accompanied by comorbid substance use.
PMCID: PMC3587136  PMID: 19192457
Bipolar disorder; Rapid cycling; Dual-diagnosis; Substance use disorder; Maintenance trial; Placebo-controlled trial; Lithium; Divalproex; Combination pharmacotherapy
15.  Intensive Psychosocial Intervention Enhances Functioning in Patients With Bipolar Depression: Results From a 9-Month Randomized Controlled Trial 
The American journal of psychiatry  2007;164(9):1340-1347.
Psychosocial interventions are effective adjuncts to pharmacotherapy in delaying recurrences of bipolar disorder; however, to date their effects on life functioning have been given little attention. In a randomized trial, the authors examined the impact of intensive psychosocial treatment plus pharmacotherapy on the functional outcomes of patients with bipolar disorder over the 9 months following a depressive episode.
Participants were 152 depressed outpatients with bipolar I or bipolar II disorder in the multisite Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) study. All patients received pharmacotherapy. Eighty-four patients were randomly assigned to intensive psychosocial intervention (30 sessions over 9 months of interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, cognitive behavior therapy [CBT], or family-focused therapy), and 68 patients were randomly assigned to collaborative care (a 3-session psychoeducational treatment). Independent evaluators rated the four subscales of the Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Evaluation–Range of Impaired Functioning Tool (LIFE-RIFT) (relationships, satisfaction with activities, work/role functioning, and recreational activities) through structured interviews given at baseline and every 3 months over a 9-month period.
Patients in intensive psychotherapy had better total functioning, relationship functioning, and life satisfaction scores over 9 months than patients in collaborative care, even after pretreatment functioning and concurrent depression scores were covaried. No effects of psychosocial intervention were observed on work/role functioning or recreation scores during this 9-month period.
Intensive psychosocial treatment enhances relationship functioning and life satisfaction among patients with bipolar disorder. Alternate interventions focused on the specific cognitive deficits of individuals with bipolar disorder may be necessary to enhance vocational functioning after a depressive episode.
PMCID: PMC3579578  PMID: 17728418
16.  Psychosocial Treatments for Bipolar Depression: A 1-Year Randomized Trial From the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program 
Archives of general psychiatry  2007;64(4):419-426.
Psychosocial interventions have been shown to enhance pharmacotherapy outcomes in bipolar disorder.
To examine the benefits of 4 disorder-specific psychotherapies in conjunction with pharmacotherapy on time to recovery and the likelihood of remaining well after an episode of bipolar depression.
Randomized controlled trial.
Fifteen clinics affiliated with the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder.
A total of 293 referred outpatients with bipolar I or II disorder and depression treated with protocol pharmacotherapy were randomly assigned to intensive psychotherapy (n=163) or collaborative care (n=130), a brief psychoeducational intervention.
Intensive psychotherapy was given weekly and biweekly for up to 30 sessions in 9 months according to protocols for family-focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy. Collaborative care consisted of 3 sessions in 6 weeks.
Main Outcome Measures
Outcome assessments were performed by psychiatrists at each pharmacotherapy visit. Primary outcomes included time to recovery and the proportion of patients classified as well during each of 12 study months.
All analyses were by intention to treat. Rates of attrition did not differ across the intensive psychotherapy (35.6%) and collaborative care (30.8%) conditions. Patients receiving intensive psychotherapy had significantly higher year-end recovery rates (64.4% vs 51.5%) and shorter times to recovery than patients in collaborative care (hazard ratio, 1.47; 95% confidence interval, 1.08–2.00; P=.01). Patients in intensive psychotherapy were 1.58 times (95% confidence interval, 1.17–2.13) more likely to be clinically well during any study month than those in collaborative care (P=.003). No statistically significant differences were observed in the outcomes of the 3 intensive psychotherapies.
Intensive psychosocial treatment as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy was more beneficial than brief treatment in enhancing stabilization from bipolar depression. Future studies should compare the cost-effectiveness of models of psychotherapy for bipolar disorder.
Trial Registration Identifier: NCT00012558
PMCID: PMC3579612  PMID: 17404119
17.  Stability of symptoms across major depressive episodes in bipolar disorder 
Bipolar disorders  2009;11(8):867-875.
Some studies suggest that depressive subtypes, defined by groups of symptoms, have predictive or diagnostic utility. These studies make the implicit assumption of stability of symptoms across episodes in mood disorders, which has rarely been investigated.
We examined prospective data from a cohort of 3,750 individuals with bipolar I or II disorder participating in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder study, selecting a subset of individuals who experienced two depressive episodes during up to two years of follow-up. Across-episode association of individual depressive or hypomanic/mixed symptoms was examined using the weighted kappa measure of agreement as well as logistic regression.
A total of 583 subjects experienced two prospectively observed depressive episodes, with 149 of those subjects experiencing a third. Greatest evidence of stability was observed for neurovegetative features, suicidality, and guilt/rumination. Loss of interest and fatigue were not consistent across episodes. Structural equation modeling suggested that the dimensional structure of symptoms was not invariant across episodes.
While the overall dimensional structure of depressive symptoms lacks temporal stability, individual symptoms including suicidality, mood, psychomotor, and neurovegetative symptoms are stable across major depressive episodes in bipolar disorder and should be considered in future investigations of course and pathophysiology in bipolar disorder.
PMCID: PMC3566555  PMID: 19922555
bipolar disorder; factor analysis; major depression; mixed state; psychosis; subtype; suicide; symptom stability
18.  Ziprasidone with Adjunctive Mood Stabilizer in the Maintenance Treatment of Bipolar I Disorder: Long-term Changes in Weight and Metabolic Profiles 
This analysis was conducted to compare the effects of adjunctive ziprasidone or placebo on metabolic parameters among patients receiving maintenance treatment with lithium or valproate. We also tested whether metabolic syndrome (MetS) and other risk factors were associated with baseline characteristics and treatment response. In the stabilization phase (Phase 1), 584 bipolar I disorder (DSM-IV) patients received 2.5-4 months of open label ziprasidone (80-160 mg/d) plus lithium or valproic acid (ZIP+MS). Patients who achieved at least 8 weeks of clinical stability were subsequently randomized into Phase 2 to 6-months of double-blind treatment with ZIP+MS (N=127) vs. placebo+MS (N=113). At baseline of Phase 1, MetS was found in 111 participants (23%). Participants with MetS (vs. non-MetS participants) were more likely to be aged 40 years or older, had significantly more severe manic symptoms, higher abdominal obesity, and higher BMI. Increase in abdominal obesity was associated with lower manic symptom improvement (p<0.05, as assessed by MRS change score) during Phase 1, while symptom improvement differed across racial groups. In the Phase 2 double-blind phase, the ZIP+MS group had similar weight and metabolic profiles compared to the placebo+MS group across visits. These results corroborate existing findings on ziprasidone which exhibits a neutral weight and metabolic profile in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar patients. Our findings suggest that MetS is highly prevalent in patients with bipolar disorder, may be associated with greater manic symptom severity, and may predict treatment outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3225596  PMID: 21798721
Metabolic syndrome; medical comorbidity; treatment remission; ziprasidone
19.  Use of Insulin Sensitizers for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: A Pilot Study of Pioglitazone for Major Depression Accompanied by Abdominal Obesity 
Journal of Affective Disorders  2011;136(3):1164-1173.
This study was conducted to examine the safety and efficacy of pioglitazone, a thiazolidinedione insulin sensitizer, in adult outpatients with major depressive disorder.
In a 12-week, open-label, flexible-dose study, 23 patients with major depressive disorder received pioglitazone monotherapy or adjunctive therapy initiated at 15mg daily. Subjects were required to meet criteria for abdominal obesity (waist circumference >35 in. in women and >40 in. in men) or metabolic syndrome. The primary efficacy measure was the change from baseline to Week 12 on the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS) total score. Partial responders (≥25% decrease in IDS total score) were eligible to participate in an optional extension phase for an additional three months.
Pioglitazone decreased depression symptom severity from a total IDS score of 40.3 ± 1.8 to 19.2 ± 1.8 at week 12 (p<.001). Among partial responders (≥ 25% decrease in IDS total score), an improvement in depressive symptoms was maintained during an additional 3-month extension phase (total duration = 24 weeks) according to IDS total scores (p<.001). Patients experienced a reduction in insulin resistance from baseline to Week 12 according to the log homeostasis model assessment (−0.8 ± 0.75; p<.001) and a significant reduction in inflammation as measured by log highly- sensitive C-reactive protein (−0.87 ± 0.72; p<.001). During the current episode, the majority of participants (74%, n=17), had already failed at least one antidepressant trial. The most common side effects were headache and dizziness; no patient discontinued due to side effects.
These data are limited by a small sample size and an open-label study design with no placebo control.
Although preliminary, pioglitazone appears to reduce depression severity and improve several markers of cardiometabolic risk, including insulin resistance and inflammation. Larger, placebo-controlled studies are indicated.
PMCID: PMC3225727  PMID: 21782251
20.  Antipsychotic-Induced Extrapyramidal Side Effects in Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia 
Newer atypical antipsychotics have been reported to cause a lower incidence of extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) than conventional agents. This review is to compare antipsychotic-induced EPS relative to placebo in bipolar disorder (BPD) and schizophrenia.
English-language literature cited in Medline was searched with terms antipsychotics, placebo-controlled trial, and bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and then with antipsychotic (generic/brand name), safety, akathisia, EPS, or anticholinergic use, bipolar mania/depression, BPD, or schizophrenia, and randomized clinical trial. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, monotherapy studies with comparable doses in both BPD and schizophrenia were included. Absolute risk increase and number needed to treat to harm (NNTH) for akathisia, overall EPS, and anticholinergic use relative to placebo were estimated.
Eleven trials in mania, 4 in bipolar depression, and 8 in schizophrenia were included. Haloperidol significantly increased the risk for akathisia, overall EPS, and anticholinergic use in both mania and schizophrenia, with a larger magnitude in mania, an NNTH for akathisia of 4 versus 7, EPS of 3 versus 5, and anticholinergic use of 2 versus 4, respectively Among atypical antipsychotics, only ziprasidone significantly increased the risk for overall EPS and anticholinergic use in both mania and schizophrenia, again with larger differences in mania, an NNTH for overall EPS of 11 versus 19, and anticholinergic use of 5 versus 9. In addition, risks were significantly increased for overall EPS (NNTH = 5) and anticholinergic use (NNTH = 5) in risperidone-treated mania, akathisia in aripiprazole-treated mania (NNTH = 9) and bipolar depression (NNTH = 5), and overall EPS (NNTH = 19) in quetiapine-treated bipolar depression.
Bipolar patients, especially in depression, were more vulnerable to having acute antipsychotic-induced movement disorders than those with schizophrenia.
PMCID: PMC3489178  PMID: 18344731
21.  Number Needed to Treat to Harm for Discontinuation Due to Adverse Events in the Treatment of Bipolar Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder With Atypical Antipsychotics 
The Journal of clinical psychiatry  2010;72(8):1063-1071.
To estimate the number needed to treat to harm (NNTH) for discontinuation due to adverse events with atypical antipsychotics relative to placebo during the treatment of bipolar depression, major depressive disorder (MDD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Data Sources
English-language literature published and cited in MEDLINE from January 1966 to May 2009 was searched with the terms antipsychotic, atypical antipsychotic, generic and brand names of atypical antipsychotics, safety, tolerability, discontinuation due to adverse events, somnolence, sedation, weight gain, akathisia, or extrapyramidal side effect; and bipolar depression, major depressive disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder, and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. This search was augmented with a manual search.
Study Selection
Studies with a cumulative sample of ≥ 100 patients were included.
Data Extraction
The NNTHs for discontinuation due to adverse events, somnolence, sedation, ≥ 7% weight gain, and akathisia relative to placebo were estimated with 95% confidence intervals to reflect the magnitude of variance.
Data Synthesis
Five studies in bipolar depression, 10 studies in MDD, and 4 studies in GAD were identified. Aripiprazole and olanzapine have been studied in bipolar depression and refractory MDD. Only quetiapine extended release (quetiapine-XR) has been studied in 3 psychiatric conditions with different fixed dosing schedules. For aripiprazole, the mean NNTH for discontinuation due to adverse events was 14 in bipolar depression, but was not significantly different from placebo in MDD. For olanzapine, the mean NNTHs were 24 in bipolar depression and 9 in MDD. The risk for discontinuation due to adverse events during quetiapine-XR treatment appeared to be associated with dose. For quetiapine-XR 300 mg/d, the NNTHs for discontinuation due to adverse events were 9 for bipolar depression, 8 for refractory MDD, 9 for MDD, and 5 for GAD.
At the same dose of quetiapine-XR, patients with GAD appeared to have a lower tolerability than those with bipolar depression or MDD, Due to flexible dosing, the risk for discontinuation due to adverse events in the treatment of bipolar depression, MDD, or GAD with other atypical antipsychotics could not be compared.
PMCID: PMC3457049  PMID: 21034695
22.  Correlates of Historical Suicide Attempt in Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder: A Cross-Sectional Assessment 
The Journal of clinical psychiatry  2009;70(7):1032-1040.
A rapid-cycling course in bipolar disorder has previously been identified as a risk factor for attempted suicide. This study investigated factors associated with suicide attempts in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar I or II disorder.
Cross-sectional data at the initial assessment of patients who were enrolled into 4 clinical trials were used to study the factors associated with suicide attempt. An extensive clinical interview and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview were used to ascertain DSM-IV diagnoses of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and other clinical variables. Chi-square, t test, and logistic regression or Poisson regression were used to analyze the data where appropriate, with odds ratios (ORs) for relative risk estimate. The data were collected from September 1995 to June 2005.
In a univariate analysis, 41% of 561 patients had at least 1 lifetime suicide attempt. Earlier age of depression onset, bipolar I subtype, female sex, unmarried status, and a history of drug use disorder, panic disorder, sexual abuse, and psychosis were associated with significantly higher rates of attempted suicide (all p<.05). After considering 31 potential confounding factors in the stepwise logistic regression model (n = 387), any Axis I comorbidity (OR=2.68, p = .0219), female sex (OR= 2.11, p = .0005), psychosis during depression (OR = 1.84, p = .0167), bipolar I subtype (OR= 1.83, p = .0074), and history of drug abuse (OR = 1.62, p = .0317) were independent predictors for increased risk of attempted suicide. However, white race was associated with a lower risk for suicide attempt (OR = 0.47, p = .0160). Psychosis during depression (p = .0003), bipolar I subtype (p = .0302), and physical abuse (p = .0195) were associated with increased numbers of suicide attempts by 248%, 166%, and 162%, respectively; white race was associated with a 60% decrease in the number of suicide attempts (p=.0320).
In this highly comorbid group of patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, 41% had at least 1 suicide attempt. Among the demographics, female sex was positively associated, but white race was negatively associated, with the risk for suicide attempt. Independent clinical variables for increased risk and/or number of attempted suicides were any Axis I comorbidity, psychosis during depression, bipolar I subtype, a history of drug abuse, and physical abuse.
PMCID: PMC3457055  PMID: 19653978
23.  Lamotrigine Adjunctive Therapy to Lithium and Divalproex in Depressed Patients with Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder and a Recent Substance Use Disorder: A 12 Week, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study 
Psychopharmacology bulletin  2010;43(4):5-21.
To pilot the efficacy and safety data of lamotrigine adjunctive therapy to lithium and divalproex in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder (RCBD) and a recent substance use disorder (SUD).
Structured Clinical interviews were used to ascertain DSM-IV diagnosis of RCBD, SUDs, and other Axis I disorders. Patients who did not meet the criteria for a bimodal response after up to 16-weeks of open-label treatment with lithium plus divalproex, as measured by MADRS (Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale) ≤ 19, YMRS (Young Mania Rating Scale) ≤ 12 and GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) ≥ 51 for 4 weeks, were rendomized to a 12-week, double-blind addition of lamotrigine or placebo to lithium plus divalproex. Primary and secondary outcomes were analyzed with ANCOVA, t-test, of chi-square/Fisher's exact.
Of 98 patients enrolled into the study, 36 were randomized to receive lamotrigine (n = 18) or placebo (n = 18), and 8 patients per arm completed the study. No patient discontinued due to adverse events. The change in MADRS total score from baseline to endpoint was –9.1 ± 11.2 in lamotrigine-treated patients versus –4.5 ± 13.1 in placebo-treated patients (p = 0.27). Therre were no significant differences in changes in YMRS total scores and rates of response or remission.
Lamotrigine adjunctive therapy was well toletated in patients previously non-responsive to initial treatment of lithium plus divalproex. A larger study is warranted to determine the efficacy and safety of adjunctive lamotrigine versus placebo in RCBD with a recent SUD.
PMCID: PMC3442254  PMID: 21240149
Bipolar disorder; substance use disorder; mood stabilizer; lamotrigine; placebo-controlled trial; treament-refractory
24.  Predictors of Non-Stabilization during the Combination Therapy of Lithium and Divalproex in Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder: A Post-hoc Analysis of Two Studies 
Psychopharmacology bulletin  2010;43(1):23-38.
To study predictors of non–stabilization (i.e., not bimodally stabilized for randomization or not randomized due to premature discontinuation) during open-label treatment with lithium and divalproex in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder (RCBD) with or without comorbid recent substance use disorders (SUDs).
Data from the open-label phase of two maintenance studies were used. The reasons for non-stabilization were compared between patients with a recent SUD and those without. Predictors for non-stabilization were explored with logistic regression analyses.
Of 149 patients with recent SUD and 254 without recent SUD enrolled into the open-label acute stabilization phase, 21% and 24% were stabilized and randomized, respectively. Compared to those without recent SUD, patients with recent SUD were more likely to discontinue the study due to non-adherence to the protocol, 53% versus 37% (OR = 1.92) or refractory mania/hypomania, 15% versus 9% (OR = 1.87), but less likely due to refractory depression 16% versus 25% (OR = 0.58) or adverse events, 10% versus 19% (OR = 0.44). A history of recent SUDs, early life verbal abuse, female gender, and late onset of first depressive episode were associated with increased risk for non-stabilization with ORs of 1.85, 1.74, 1.10, and 1.04, respectively.
During open treatment with lithium and divalproex in patients with RCBD, a recent SUD, a lifetime history of verbal abuse, female gender, and late onset of first depression independently predicted non-stabilization. The non-stabilization for patients with SUD was related to non-adherence and refractory mania/hypomania.
PMCID: PMC3439803  PMID: 20581798
Bipolar disorder; anxiety disorder; substance use disorder; mood stabilizer; non-stabilization
25.  Comparisons of the tolerability and sensitivity of quetiapine-XR in the acute treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar mania, bipolar depression, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder 
Quetiapine extended-release (quetiapine-XR) has been studied in patients with schizophrenia, bipolar mania, bipolar depression, major depressive disorder (MDD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The purpose of this study was to compare the tolerability and sensitivity of quetiapine-XR among these psychiatric conditions. The discontinuation due to adverse events (DAEs) and reported somnolence in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of quetiapine-XR in these psychiatric conditions were examined. The absolute risk reduction or increase and the number needed to treat to benefit (NNTB) or harm (NNTH) for DAEs and reported somnolence of quetiapine-XR ≥300 mg/d relative to placebo were estimated. Data from one study in schizophrenia (n=465), one in mania (n=316), one in bipolar depression (n=280), two in refractory MDD (n=624), two in MDD (n=669) and three in GAD (n=1109) were available. The risk for DAEs of quetiapine-XR relative to placebo was significantly increased in bipolar depression (NNTH=9), refractory MDD (NNTH=8), MDD (NNTH=9), and GAD (NNTH=5), but not in schizophrenia and mania. The risk for reported somnolence of quetiapine-XR relative to placebo was significantly increased in schizophrenia (600 mg/d NNTH=15 and 800 mg/d NNTH=11), mania (NNTH=8), bipolar depression (NNTH=4), refractory MDD (NNTH=5), MDD (NNTH=5) and GAD (NNTH=5). These results suggest that patients with GAD had the poorest tolerability during treatment with quetiapine-XR, but they had a similar sensitivity as those with bipolar depression and MDD. Patients with schizophrenia or mania had a higher tolerability and a lower sensitivity than those with bipolar depression, MDD, or GAD.
PMCID: PMC3433839  PMID: 20875219
Atypical antipsychotic; bipolar disorder; generalized anxiety disorder; major depressive disorder; schizophrenia

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