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The Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network: 2. Preliminary summary of demographics, course of illness and response to novel treatments

  • Ralph W. Kupka (a1), Willem A. Nolen (a1), Lori L. Altshuler (a2), Mark A. Frye (a2), Kirk D. Denicoff (a3), Gabriele S. Leverich (a3), Robert M. Post (a3), Paul E. Keck (a4), Susan L. McElroy (a4), A. John Rush (a5) and Trisha Suppes (a5)...
Abstract
Background

The Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network (SFBN) evaluates treatments, course and clinical and neurobiological markers of response in bipolar illness.

Aims

To give a preliminary summary of emerging findings in these areas.

Method

Studies with established and potentially antimanic, antidepressant and mood-stabilising agents range from open case series to double-blind randomised clinical trials, and use the same core assessment methodology, thereby optimising the comparability of the outcomes. The National Institute of Mental Health Life Chart Method is the core instrument for retrospective and prospective longitudinal illness description.

Results

The first groups of patients enrolled show a considerable degree of past and present symptomatology, psychiatric comorbidity and functional impairment. There are associations of both genetic and early environmental factors with more severe courses of illness. Open case series with add-on olanzapine, lamotrigine, gabapentin or topiramate show a differential spectrum of effectiveness in refractory patients.

Conclusions

The SFBN provides important new data for the understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Ralph Kupka, MD, Altrecht Centre for Mental Health Care, Vrouwjuttenhof 18, 3512 PZ Utrecht, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 30 230 8888; fax: +31 30 230 8885; e-mail: kupka@hcrg.nl
Footnotes
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See Paper I, pp. s169–s176.

Declaration of interest

Support received from the Theodore and Vada Stanley Foundation.

Footnotes
References
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The Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network: 2. Preliminary summary of demographics, course of illness and response to novel treatments

  • Ralph W. Kupka (a1), Willem A. Nolen (a1), Lori L. Altshuler (a2), Mark A. Frye (a2), Kirk D. Denicoff (a3), Gabriele S. Leverich (a3), Robert M. Post (a3), Paul E. Keck (a4), Susan L. McElroy (a4), A. John Rush (a5) and Trisha Suppes (a5)...
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