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Vieta E, Berk M, Schulze TG, Carvalho AF, Suppes T, Calabrese JR, Gao K, Miskowiak KW, Grande I. Bipolar disorders. [Book Review]. Nature reviews. Disease primers. 2018 Mar 8; 4:18008.
Bipolar disorders are chronic and recurrent disorders that affect > 1% of the global population. Bipolar disorders are leading causes of disability in young people as they can lead to cognitive and functional impairment and increased mortality, particularly from suicide and cardiovascular disease. Psychiatric and nonpsychiatric medical comorbidities are common in patients and might also contribute to increased mortality. Bipolar disorders are some of the most heritable psychiatric disorders, although a model with gene-environment interactions is believed to best explain the aetiology. Early and accurate diagnosis is difficult in clinical practice as the onset of bipolar disorder is commonly characterized by nonspecific symptoms, mood lability or a depressive episode, which can be similar in presentation to unipolar depression. Moreover, patients and their families do not always understand the significance of their symptoms, especially with hypomanic or manic symptoms. As specific biomarkers for bipolar disorders are not yet available, careful clinical assessment remains the cornerstone of diagnosis. The detection of hypomanic symptoms and longtudinal clinical assessment are crucial to differentiate a bipolar disorder from other conditions. Optimal early treatment of patients with evidence-based medication (typically mood stabilizers and antipsychotics) and psychosocial strategies is necessary.