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Academic Highlights

Expanded Treatment Options and Addressing Unmet Needs in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Joseph F. Goldberg, MDa; Melissa P. DelBello, MD, MSb; and Holly A. Swartz, MDc

Published: November 16, 2022


Bipolar disorder presents on a spectrum, with bipolar depression on one end and bipolar I on the other and a host of other presentations in between. In addition to its many permutations and the difficulty of differentiating between diagnoses, comorbidities, incorrect treatment, and low self-report contribute to delayed diagnoses and inappropriate or delayed treatment. Once a diagnosis is reached, the latest evidence of the safety and efficacy profiles of existing and emerging treatments adds to the complexity when developing treatment strategies for patients with bipolar disorder. As guidelines are updated and new treatments become available, developing individualized treatment regimens is key and collaboration between clinician and patient and family is critical in optimizing patient outcomes. New treatment options can reduce some of the side effect burdens associated with treating bipolar disorder, and clinicians should use measurement-based care to assess whether treatment changes are necessary, which requires engaging with the patient to monitor efficacy and manage side effects. It is important to ensure that the patient and family understand the information to foster informed decision making and create a better therapeutic alliance. Involving patients in designing their own treatment strategies according to their tolerability criteria can help combat the 90% nonadherence rate, and ultimately lead to better patient care.

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To cite: Goldberg JF, DelBello MP, Swartz HA. Expanded treatment options and addressing unmet needs in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2022;83(6):MS21058AH5.
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aIcahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York, New York
bUniversity of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
cUniversity of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Part of the CME Institute’s Bipolar Disorder Education Collection

Volume: 83

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