Background The Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network (SFBN) evaluates treatments, course and clinical and neurobiological markers of response in bipolar illness. Aims To give a preliminary summary of emerging findings in these areas. Method Studies with established and potentially antimanic, antidepressant and mood-stabilising agents range from open case series to double-blind randomised clinical trials, and use the same core assessment methodology, thereby optimising the comparability of the outcomes. The National Institute of Mental Health Life Chart Method is the core instrument for retrospective and prospective longitudinal illness description. Results The first groups of patients enrolled show a considerable degree of past and present symptomatology, psychiatric comorbidity and functional impairment. There are associations of both genetic and early environmental factors with more severe courses of illness. Open case series with add-on olanzapine, lamotrigine, gabapentin or topiramate show a differential spectrum of effectiveness in refractory patients. Conclusions The SFBN provides important new data for the understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder. Declaration of interest Support received from the Theodore and Vada Stanley Foundation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health