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May 23, 2006

Study Identifies Predictors Of Bipolar Disorder Risk

A new study presented today at the 159th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in Toronto, Canada identified five predictors for bipolar disorder risk in patients who have been unsuccessfully treated with antidepressants. Researchers concluded that significant risk factors of bipolar disorder among patients already diagnosed with major depression were anxiety, feelings of people being unfriendly, family history of bipolar disorder, a recent diagnosis of depression, and legal problems.

The study also found that forty-three percent of patients who responded positively to any three risk factors, screened positive for bipolar disorder using the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), a validated screener for bipolar disorder. In addition, one-third of patients whose medication for their depression was not right for them and that they had been told by a doctor they had anxiety and felt people were unfriendly toward them, screened positive for bipolar disorder, using the MDQ.

Based on these findings, a brief assessment tool was derived that can be used to identify bipolar disorder risk.

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