Celiac disease increases likelihood of bipolar disorder
February 8, 2021, CLEVELAND, OH—People with celiac disease are at increased risk of developing bipolar disorder, a new study suggests.
American researchers looked at health record data from 360 U.S. hospitals to find information on people with celiac disease, a chronic disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten in predisposed people. The study found people with celiac disease are at increased risk of having multiple psychiatric diseases including bipolar.
The authors said individual care and referral to psychiatry when appropriate are warranted while taking care of gluten-intolerant people.
The study, which appeared in theJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology online ahead of print, was entitled “Epidemiology and risk of psychiatric disorders among celiac disease patients: A population-based national study.”
Postpartum onset linked to more favorable course
April 1, 2021, PARIS, France—Women whose bipolar disorder presents as a postpartum depressive episode after giving birth appear to have a more favorable course of bipolar than women whose onset occurs at some other time, a new study suggests.
French researchers noted the nearly 13 percent of women whose bipolar emerged as a major depressive episode experienced their first episode postpartum, Furthermore, the postpartum period is associated with an increased risk of bipolar disorder diagnosis and relapse, mainly related to depressive episodes.
In looking at 750 women whose bipolar emerged as a major depressive episode, they found those with postpartum onset tended to have an older age of onset, more likelihood of a bipolar II disorder diagnosis, fewer past depressive episodes, and higher rates of treatment with a mood stabilizer.
Combining treatments has better results for cognitive function and employment
March 1, 2021, SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Spain—Cognitive remediation training, combined with individual placement support (IPS), is effective in improving cognitive functioning and job situations for people with bipolar disorder, a new study has found.
Spanish researchers had people with bipolar or another serious psychiatric disorder assigned to either cognitive remediation training and IPS together, or just IPS, and followed their progress over a year. Those assigned to the combination treatment showed more improvements on measures of cognitive functioning, scoring significantly higher in executive function, verbal learning, and memory.
The combination group also had higher rates of employment and more hours worked per week after eight months and a year. More than 80 per cent of people in the combination group stuck with their treatment.
The study, which appeared in the journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, was entitled “Cognitive remediation to improve the vocational outcomes of people with severe mental illness.”
Group therapy effective for bipolar disorder
March 1, 2021, STATE COLLEGE, PA—Group therapy appears to be as helpful as individual therapy for individuals in treatment for bipolar disorder, a new study has found.
American researchers conducted an analysis of dozens of studies dating back nearly 20 years. In most of the studies, group therapy participants were also taking medication.
The analysis showed group therapy for bipolar disorder had results comparable to or better than treatment as usual (typically medication plus individual therapy). They said data was limited on comparing outcomes for group therapy participants to outcomes for treatment with medication alone.
The study, which appeared in the journal Psychotherapy Research, was entitled “Group therapy for mood disorders: A meta-analysis.”
Higher nighttime light exposure in bed linked to obesity
March 1, 2021, AICHI, Japan—People with bipolar disorder whose bedrooms aren’t completely dark at night appear to be at higher risk of obesity, a new study suggests.
Japanese researchers noted that being overweight is highly prevalent among people with bipolar and excessive weight is associated with greater risk for physical and psychological health problems.
In analyzing data from 200 outpatients with bipolar, they found overall prevalence of obesity was 44 per cent. However, the odds of being overweight or obese were significantly higher among people exposed to three lux or more at night. (Lux measures how much light is received at a specific distance from the source of illumination.)
Nighttime light exposure may come from nearby streetlights, hall lights, and TV screens. Moonlight clocks in at less than one lux.
The study, which appeared in the journal Physiology and Behavior, was entitled “Bedroom light exposure at night and obesity in individuals with bipolar disorder: A cross-sectional analysis of the APPLE cohort.”
Daylight exposure reduces relapse into depressive episodes
February 15, 2021, AICHI, Japan—In related findings, the same team of Japanese researchers determined that greater exposure to daylight appears to reduce the chances of relapse into depressive episodes among people with bipolar disorder.
Nothing that light therapy has been suggested to have a curative effect on bipolar depression, the researchers said preventative effects of light therapy remain unclear. They measured the amount of daylight individuals with bipolar were exposed to over seven days, then assessed them for relapse a year later. Nearly 40 percent had experienced a depressive episode in the intervening period.
Longer time exposed to daytime light above 1,000 lux was significantly associated with lower likelihood of depressive relapse. That was particularly true for morning exposure. Bright sunlight provides 100,000 lux or more, or around 20,000 lux in the shade. Even a dark, cloudy day has around 1,000 lux.
The association between daytime light exposure and relapse into manic, hypomanic, or mixed-feature episodes was not significantly different.
The observational study, which appeared in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica online ahead of print, was entitled “Preventive effect of morning light exposure on relapse into depressive episode in bipolar disorder.”
Elevated cardiometabolic risk factors identified
March 1, 2021, MONTERREY, Mexico—A large new study has identified cardiometabolic risk factors among people with bipolar disorder that put them at risk of negative cardiovascular events.
Mexican and American researchers looked at the health records of more than 1,300 people with bipolar and found the disorder is associated with obesity, elevated systolic blood pressure and elevated triglycerides—a type of fat in the blood.
Those are among the warning signs of metabolic syndrome, which also includes high blood sugar, low levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and excess body fat around the waist, which puts people at greatly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
The authors said the findings underscore the importance of risk monitoring for people with bipolar, which they said can be done in community health centers.
The study, which appeared in theJournal of Affective Disorders, was entitled “Body mass index and blood pressure in bipolar patients: Target cardiometabolic markers for clinical practice.”
Binge eating & Overvaluation of Weight Common
February 11, 2021, SYDNEY, Australia—Binge eating and overemphasizing weight or body shape in evaluating self-worth led the list of co-existing eating disorders in a group of people with bipolar disorders participating in a study by Australian researchers.
Out of 73 adults with bipolar disorder, 45 percent reported binge eating. Just over half reported “overvaluation of weight/shape,” nearly 40 percent reported excessive restriction of food consumption, 27 per cent reported intense or compulsive exercising, and 16 per cent reported purging.
All of those behaviors were associated with a worse clinical picture of bipolar disorder, including poorer quality of life and poorer emotional regulation.
The authors called for more research on modifying existing psychological interventions for eating disorders to better target people with bipolar.
The study, which appeared in theJournal of Mental Health online ahead of print, was entitled “Eating disorder features in bipolar disorder: Clinical implications.”
Characteristics help differentiate bipolar & unipolar depression
February 10, 2021, POZNAN, Poland—A new study has found characteristics that could help to differentiate between unipolar depression and bipolar disorder in women.
Polish researchers noted that it’s crucial to make the correct diagnosis as soon as possible when someone has a depressive episode. They recruited women with long duration of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder in order to identify useful guideposts.
Individuals with bipolar had an earlier age of onset, had been hospitalized more often, and were more likely to have a family history of psychiatric disorders than those with unipolar depression.
The women with bipolar also scored higher on measures of impulsiveness, and more frequently experienced severe problems with family members and friends.
The study, which appeared in theJournal of Clinical Medicine, was entitled “Differences in the clinical picture in women with a depressive episode in the course of unipolar and bipolar disorder.”
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