Mood swings are not always best understood as an illness called ' bipolar disorder ', and medication is not the only way to cope with them, says a British Psychological Society report. The report, Understanding Bipolar Disorder, which the Society has made available as a free download throughout the month of July, gives new hope to people diagnosed with bipolar disorder (about 1-2 per cent of the population). This in-depth review of recent research was authored by Professor Steven Jones of Lancaster University and a team of leading clinical psychologists, working in partnership with service users. It suggests that a tendency to extreme moods can have significant benefits as well as sometimes leading to problems. Many people who have been reported as having the diagnosis are also extremely creative and successful individuals.
A team of researchers at Sam Houston State University will evaluate a new mental health court in Montgomery County. The College of Criminal Justice received a grant from the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense to evaluate the effectiveness of the new program, which will provide a managing attorney and master's-level social worker for criminal cases involving mentally ill defendants. The SHSU researchers include Drs. Jeff Bouffard, Holly Miller, Gaylene Armstrong, and Phillip Lyons. The new court, which will refer defendants to a pool of specialized attorneys and to treatment services in the community, is expected to handle about 600 cases a year. The three-year research project will provide a process evaluation of the overall goals and objectives of the program and measure its success in terms of cost effectiveness, jail diversion, life skills and recidivism rates.
Andy Irons' autopsy results have finally been released and his family posted a lengthy statement regarding the tragedy that took place last November when Irons, a three-time world surfing champion from Hawaii, to a combination of a heart attack and drugs in his system. Heart attack was ruled cause of death, but the family was open about Irons' battle with bipolarism and medications. Andy Irons was 32 years old. Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a prominent forensic pathologist in San Antonio, TX was asked to review and explain the autopsy results to the family. He stated: "This is a very straightforward case. Mr. Irons died of a heart attack due to focal severe coronary atherosclerosis, i.e., 'hardening of the arteries.' He had an atherosclerotic plaque producing 70%-80% narrowing of his anterior descending coronary artery.
A new study by motor control and psychology researchers at Indiana University suggests that postural control problems may be a core feature of bipolar disorder, not just a random symptom, and can provide insights both into areas of the brain affected by the psychiatric disorder and new potential targets for treatment. Depression Pain Problems with balance, postural control and other motor control issues are frequently experienced by people with mood and psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and neurological disorders such as Huntington's and Parkinson's disease, but research into the connections is scant. If problems with postural control -- maintaining balance while holding oneself upright -- are a core component of bipolar disorder, as the study indicates, the researchers say it is possible that the motor abnormalities could appear before other symptoms, signaling an increased risk for the disorder.
Scientists are reporting a possible explanation for the bone loss that may occur following long-term use of a medicine widely used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and other conditions. The drug, valproate, appears to reduce the formation of two key proteins important for bone strength, they said. Their study, which offers a solution to a long-standing mystery, appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research. Glenn Morris and colleagues point out that use of valproate, first introduced more than 40 years ago for the prevention of seizures in patients with epilepsy, has expanded. Valproate now is prescribed for mood disorders, migraine headache, and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare genetic disease that causes loss of muscle control and movement. Many SMA patients develop weak bones as a result of the disease itself, making further bone loss from valproate especially undesirable.