NIMH Information About Bipolar Disorder, Page 6

In addition to the summaries provided in this article by the US National Institute of Mental Health, separate pages provide more information on the specific symptoms of manic depression.

What About Clinical Studies for Bipolar Disorder?

Some people with bipolar disorder receive medication and/or psychosocial therapy by volunteering to participate in clinical studies (clinical trials). Clinical studies involve the scientific investigation of illness and treatment of illness in humans. Clinical studies in mental health can yield information about the efficacy of a medication or a combination of treatments, the usefulness of a behavioral intervention or type of psychotherapy, the reliability of a diagnostic procedure, or the success of a prevention method. Clinical studies also guide scientists in learning how illness develops, progresses, lessens, and affects both mind and body. Millions of Americans diagnosed with mental illness lead healthy, productive lives because of information discovered through clinical studies. These studies are not always right for everyone, however. It is important for each individual to consider carefully the possible risks and benefits of a clinical study before making a decision to participate.

In recent years, NIMH has introduced a new generation of “real-world” clinical studies. They are called “real-world” studies for several reasons. Unlike traditional clinical trials, they offer multiple different treatments and treatment combinations. In addition, they aim to include large numbers of people with mental disorders living in communities throughout the U.S. and receiving treatment across a wide variety of settings. Individuals with more than one mental disorder, as well as those with co-occurring physical illnesses, are encouraged to consider participating in these new studies. The main goal of the real-world studies is to improve treatment strategies and outcomes for all people with these disorders. In addition to measuring improvement in illness symptoms, the studies will evaluate how treatments influence other important, real-world issues such as quality of life, ability to work, and social functioning. They also will assess the cost-effectiveness of different treatments and factors that affect how well people stay on their treatment plans.

The Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) is seeking participants for the largest-ever, “real-world” study of treatments for bipolar disorder. To learn more about STEP-BD or other clinical studies, see the Clinical Trials page on the NIMH Web site http://www.nimh.nih.gov, visit the National Library of Medicine’s clinical trials database http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, or contact NIMH.

For More Information

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Office of Communications
Information Resources and Inquiries Branch
6001 Executive Blvd., Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: (301) 443-4513; Fax: (301) 443-4279
Fax Back System, Mental Health FAX4U: (301) 443-5158
E-mail: nimhinfo@nih.gov; Web site: http://www.nimh.nih.gov

Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation
1000 Skokie Boulevard, Suite #570
Wilmette, IL 60091
Phone: (847) 256-8525
Web site: http://www.bpkids.org

Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA)
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Meyer 3-181
600 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-7381
Phone: (410) 955-4647 or (202) 955-5800 (Washington, DC)
E-mail: drada@jhmi.edu; Web site: http://www.drada.org

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
Colonial Place Three
2107 Wilson Blvd., 3rd Floor
Arlington, VA 22201-3042
Toll-Free: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
Phone: (703) 524-7600; Fax: (703) 524-9094
Internet: http://www.nami.org

Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
730 North Franklin Street, Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60610-7204
Toll-Free: 1-800-826-3632
Phone: (312) 642-0049; Fax: (312) 642-7243
Internet: http://www.DBSAlliance.org

National Foundation for Depressive Illness, Inc. (NAFDI)
P.O. Box 2257
New York, NY 10116
Toll-Free: 1-800-239-1265
Web site: http://www.depression.org

National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
2001 N. Beauregard Street, 12th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314-2971
Phone: 1-800-969-6642 or (703) 684-7722
TTY-800-443-5959
Internet: http://www.nmha.org

References

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23Stoll AL, Severus WE, Freeman MP, Rueter S, Zboyan HA, Diamond E, Cress KK, Marangell LB. Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder: a preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1999; 56(5): 407-12.

24Strakowski SM, DelBello MP. The co-occurrence of bipolar and substance use disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 2000; 20(2): 191-206.

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26Strakowski SM, Sax KW, McElroy SL, Keck PE Jr, Hawkins JM, West SA. Course of psychiatric and substance abuse syndromes co-occurring with bipolar disorder after a first psychiatric hospitalization. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1998; 59(9): 465-71.

Source: NIMH

This publication, written by Melissa Spearing of NIMH, is a revision and update of an earlier version by Mary Lynn Hendrix. Scientific information and review were provided by NIMH Director Steven E. Hyman, M.D., and other NIMH staff members Matthew V. Rudorfer, M.D., and Jane L. Pearson, Ph.D. Editorial assistance was provided by Clarissa K. Wittenberg, Margaret Strock, and Lisa D. Alberts of NIMH.

NIH Publication No. 02-3679

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