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Bipolar Complications Challenge Care

As researchers learn more about bipolar they discover the condition is often accompanied by a bevy of mental and physical conditions. Consequently, treatment of the disorder becomes a balancing act requiring a multi-focal intervention.

Indeed, although the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be disabling on their own, most patients with the condition also are afflicted with a variety of other psychiatric, substance use and physical disorders. These comorbid conditions can complicate treatment and diagnosis.

Research findings on genetic links between bipolar disorder and other conditions and the incidence of such comorbidities were presented at the Seventh International Conference on Bipolar Disorder.

According to Allan H. Young, people who have bipolar disorder are at increased risk for other psychiatric syndromes including anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and problems with substance use.

These psychiatric comorbidities, accompanied by medical comorbidities common in people with bipolar, including heart disease, cancer, endocrine disorders and autoimmune disorders, lead to complications, overall poor health and a decreased life expectancy.

Research presented by Willem A. Nolen, M.D., Ph.D., of the University Medical Center, University of Groningen, Netherlands, shows that genetic factors may play a role in the development of comorbidities in people with bipolar disorder.

Researchers observed an increased prevalence of bipolar disorder among twins and parents and children with autoimmune thyroiditis. These findings indicate a genetic risk factor for the disease.

In Dr. Nolen’s study of people with autoimmune thyroiditis, they found that those who also had bipolar disorder had abnormalities in 21 mRNAs, which contain codes for inflammation, cell survival and cell death, among other things.

If confirmed by further study, these findings could lead to new avenues for diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder and suggest that high rates of medical comorbidities can be explained by genetic factors.

Source: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Bipolar Complications Challenge Care

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2016). Bipolar Complications Challenge Care. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 17, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/06/14/bipolar-complications-challenge-care/894.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Jun 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Jun 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.