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November 7, 2007

New Bipolar Disorder Studies at Stanford University - participants needed

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine (in Palo Alto, California) are seeking volunteers for several research studies on bipolar disorder, which affects more than 10 million American adults.

The illness typically requires lifelong treatment, and researchers have been studying which medications are the most effective. "We're aiming to enhance the treatment of bipolar disorder by exploring agents with greater efficacy for mood symptoms and/or greater physical tolerability," said Terence Ketter, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Bipolar Disorders Clinic, who is leading the studies.

Participants in each study must be ages 18 to 65 and have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, an illness that is marked by episodes of mania and depression that can last from days to months.

Study 1: This study is examining the effectiveness of armodafinil as an add-on therapy for bipolar patients experiencing major depression.

Who is eligible: Volunteers for this study must be suffering from depression and currently taking divalproex sodium, lithium and/or olanzapine.

What is required: Participants will be carefully evaluated and assigned by random to receive either armodafinil or a placebo for a period of eight weeks. They will be monitored by a psychiatrist and be compensated for time and travel expenses.

For additional information, please contact Shelley Hill at (650) 498-4801 or shill@stanford.edu.

Study 2: This study focuses on the use of quetiapine to treat bipolar patients with both hypomania and depression.

Who is eligible: Volunteers for this study must be experiencing both hypomania -- a distinct period of elevated mood, lasting for at least four days -- and depressive symptoms.

What is required: Participants will be carefully evaluated and assigned by random to receive either quetiapine or a placebo for a period of eight weeks. They will be monitored by a psychiatrist and be compensated for time and travel expenses.

For additional information, please contact Kristine Keller at (650) 498-4968 or klkeller@stanford.edu.

Study 3: During this study, researchers are looking at the use of olanzapine to treat patients experiencing increases in symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Who is eligible: Volunteers for this study must be experiencing an obvious increase of bipolar symptoms, including hypomania and depression. They must have been on medication for at least two weeks.

What is required: Participants will be carefully evaluated and assigned by random to add olanzapine or a placebo to their other medications for one week. At the end of this period, all participants will receive olanzapine for one week while being monitored by a psychiatrist. Volunteers will be compensated for time and travel expenses.

For additional information, please contact Kristine Keller at (650) 498-4968 or klkeller@stanford.edu.

The researchers are also continuing to recruit volunteers for an ongoing study on the use of ziprasidone to treat bipolar patients experiencing weight gain, a common side effect of some medications. Over a 12-week period, participants will be carefully evaluated and treated with ziprasidone, and efforts will be made to decrease or discontinue medications implicated in weight gain. For additional information, please contact Kristine Keller at (650) 498-4968 or klkeller@stanford.edu.

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