Bipolar Diagnosis May Include an MRI

Mental illnesses are hard enough to diagnose without clear physical symptoms that doctors can observe, but bipolar disorder can be particularly tricky.

That may change with a new brain scan study, which suggests that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can tell the difference between bipolar and healthy individuals often enough to serve as an effective bipolar disorder test.

Read the full article here.

Lithium Use Over Time

Lithium is one of the most important treatments available for bipolar disorder.  A small percentage of patients who initially respond well to lithium may develop resistance to the drug over time.  Some develop tolerance to the drug’s therapeutic effects over a period of years, seen as a gradual breaking through of manic or depressive episodes that increase in severity or frequency. Others who are good long-term responders to lithium, but stop taking lithium and then suffer relapses, fail to respond as well as they had before. In a few instances, the drug no longer helps at all. This latter form of acquired lithium resistance is called lithium discontinuation-induced refractoriness.

Patients should be aware of the multiple dangers of stopping effective treatment with lithium. These include: likely relapse, perhaps the necessity of hospitalization, an increased risk of suicide, and the loss of responsiveness to lithium that appears to occur in approximately 15% of patients who stop lithium when it is working effectively.

Read the full article here.

Cell Phone in Pill Bottle to Remind You to Take Your Meds

Technology is advancing so fast and the price of it is rapidly declining such that there is a new company that has developed a pill bottle that has a cell phone built into it.

Medication compliance is a huge issue for those with bipolar disorder.  This type of technology will not force people to take their meds but will provide those with the desire to do so with one more tool to help them be compliant.

Read more here cell phone in pill bottle.