Lecture - Clinical Considerations in Bipolar Disorder

Available with English captions.

Presented by Dr. Allan Young, King’s College London – The Irene Jakab Lecture

In this wide-ranging talk, Young looks at bipolar disorder from different perspectives. He discusses early descriptions of bipolar disorder and explains how patients were diagnosed and treated. Also, he explains how researchers from the 19th and 20th centuries expanded our understanding of the condition, which led to advances in medication and treatment approaches.

Watch now to learn more about:

  • The historical background of bipolar disorder
  • The impact of bipolar disorder
  • Bipolar disorder treatment options

Young reviews recent studies into the condition. This work explores different ways to diagnose the condition and understand the impact of co-occurring disorders on patients. He also reviews the various medications that have been shown to be effective, such as lithium. Also, he explores the potential of other approaches, such as ketamine.

He explains that bipolar disorders are common. About 4% of the population is at lifetime risk for the condition. Unfortunately, bipolar disorder is clinically complex and expensive to treat. Young says that diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder can be difficult because of symptom overlap, heterogeneity of patient symptoms, coexisting conditions, and residual symptoms.

He reports that early, accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment interventions are associated with improved patient outcomes. Restoration of patient functioning and quality of life in the long-term, he asserts, “must be the most important goal, and cognition is very important for this.”

Reviewing research and clinical outcomes, Young states specialized help involving medication therapy, psychological treatment, and patient education can produce better results for patients. He explains how bipolar treatment at his clinic at King’s College London addresses issues such as sexual health advice and nutrition. This approach, he states, “really improves patient outcomes.”

Despite advances in our understanding of bipolar disorder, Young calls for new treatments. He says that the psychiatric community must make the same investment in the study of bipolar disorder that is made for conditions such as schizophrenia and major depression.