Predominant polarity in bipolar disorder and validation of the polarity index in a German sample.

Predominant polarity in bipolar disorder and validation of the polarity index in a German sample.

BMC Psychiatry. 2014 Nov 22;14(1):322

Authors: Volkert J, Zierhut KC, Schiele MA, Wenzel M, Kopf J, Kittel-Schneider S, Reif A

Abstract
BackgroundA large number of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) can be characterized by predominant polarity (PP), which has important implications for relapse prevention. Recently, Popovic et al. (EUR NEUROPSYCHOPHARM 22(5): 339¿346, 2012) proposed the Polarity Index (PI) as a helpful tool in the maintenance treatment of BD. As a numeric expression, it reflects the efficacy of drugs used in treatment of BD. In the present retrospective study, we aimed to validate this Index in a large and well characterized German bipolar sample.MethodsWe investigated 336 bipolar patients (BP) according to their PP and calculated the PI for each patient in order to prove if maintenance treatment differs according to their PP. Furthermore, we analysed whether PP is associated with demographic and clinical characteristics of BP.ResultsIn our sample, 63.9% of patients fulfilled criteria of PP: 169 patients were classified as depressive predominant polarity (DPP), 46 patients as manic predominant polarity (MPP). The two groups differed significantly in their drug regime: Patients with DPP were more often medicated with lamotrigine and antidepressants, patients with MPP were more often treated with lithium, valproate, carbamazepine and first generation antipsychotics. However, patients with DPP and MPP did not differ significantly with respect to the PI, although they received evidence-based and guideline-driven treatment.ConclusionThe reason for this negative finding might well be that for several drugs, which were used frequently, no PI value is available. Nevertheless we suggest PP as an important concept in the planning of BD maintenance treatment.

PMID: 25412678 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]