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Bipolar I Disorder Reviewed 5/2014

Laurie Carrier, MD
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  • Description
  • Epidemiology
  • Etiology and Pathophysiology
  • Risk Factors
  • General Prevention
  • Associated Conditions


  • History
  • Physical Exam
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Tests


  • General Measures
  • Medication (Drugs)
  • Issues for Referral
  • Additional Therapies
  • In-patient Considerations


  • Follow-Up Recommendations
  • Patient Education
  • Prognosis
The following is an excerpt....
  • Bipolar I (BP-I) is a mood disorder characterized by at least 1 manic or mixed episode, often alternating with episodes of major depression, that causes marked impairment and/or hospitalization.
  • Symptoms are not caused by a substance (e.g., drug), a general medical condition, or a medication.
ALERT: Geriatric Considerations
New onset in older patients (>50 years of age) requires a workup for organic or chemically induced pathology.
ALERT: Pediatric Considerations
There is overlap with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Children and adolescents experience more rapid cycling and mixed states. Depression often presents as irritable mood.
ALERT: Pregnancy Considerations

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Images >
Antidepressant drugs and the biochemical life cycles of norepinephrine and serotonin. MAO inhibitors, tricyclics, and SSRIs are used as antidepressants. MAO inhibitors enhance the actions of NE and 5-HT by preventing their enzymatic destruction. Tricyclics enhance NE and 5-HT action by blocking uptake. SSRIs act the same way but are selective for serotonin. Credit: From Bear MF, Connors BW, and Parasido, MA. Neuroscience - Exploring the Brain, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2001
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