(Press-News.org) Bipolar disorder underlies roughly five percent of all suicides among young people. Previous studies also show that there is often a long delay between the onset of bipolarism and its correct diagnosis and treatment. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now show that fewer boys commit suicide in Swedish regions where bipolar diagnoses are more common. The study, which is published in JAMA Psychiatry, could contribute to more proactive care for reducing the number of suicides.
“Bipolar disorder is often more distressing for people who develop it early in life and is one of the psychiatric disorders most associated with suicide risk,” says the study’s first author Peter Andersson, doctoral student at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.
The disease usually manifests between the ages of 12 and 25 and is characterised by recurring episodes of mania and depression. Previous studies have shown that it can take up to six years for bipolar disorder to be diagnosed and treated, and comparisons with data from previous large-scale prevalence studies, indicate that under-diagnosis in Sweden is high among individuals aged 15-19.
Large regional differences
Using registry data from all of Sweden's 21 regions between 2008 and 2021, researchers from Karolinska Institutet examined regional differences in the number of people aged 15 to 19 diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the correlation between population size-adjusted diagnoses and confirmed suicides for males and females.
The results, which included 585 confirmed suicides in this age group, showed large regional differences in the percentage of young people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The study also found an association between a higher number of population-adjusted bipolar diagnoses and lower suicide rates among boys.
“Our results show that the suicide rate among boys is almost five per cent lower in the regions that make most bipolar diagnoses than in those that make the fewest,” says corresponding author Adrian E. Desai Boström, resident in child and adolescent psychiatry in Stockholm and postdoc researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet. “This suggests that suicide among teenage boys in Sweden could be reduced with improvements to the diagnosis of bipolarism and its treatment.”
Sometimes wrongly diagnosed
The study's complementary analyses showed that the relationship between the number of bipolar diagnoses and lower suicide rates among boys was independent of the number of care episodes and diagnoses of depression or schizophrenia.
Although the number of prescriptions for the mood stabilizer lithium paradoxically decreased when more bipolar diagnoses were established, increases were observed in the number of boys who received lithium at least once. The researchers hypothesised that this could be interpreted as indicating that boys with bipolar disorder often begin lithium therapy but then switch to other mood-stabilising drugs for various reasons.
The researchers also see a possible risk that misguided treatment could lead to a higher suicide rate rather than no treatment at all.
"For example, some young people might be passed on by the psychiatric services to the social services under the provisions of laws relating to the care of the young and people with functional impairments," says Andersson. "We also know that bipolar patients are sometimes wrongly diagnosed with 'normal' depression."
In a recently published study in Nature Communications the researchers found large regional differences in the use of advanced psychiatric treatments in child and adolescent psychiatry in Sweden. They now plan to further investigate the effects of advanced psychiatric treatments on young people with bipolar disorder and other serious psychiatric conditions.
The study was a collaboration among researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Uppsala University, Umeå University, Lund University, Region Halland, and Region Stockholm in Sweden and was financed by the Swedish Research Council. Co-author Jussi Jokinen has been part of an advisory committee for the pharmaceutical company Janssen on the use of esketamine in the treatment of depression. No other conflicts of interest have been reported.
Publication: ”Association of Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis With Suicide Mortality Rates in Adolescents in Sweden”. Peter Andersson, Jussi Jokinen, Håkan Jarbin, Johan Lundberg, Adrian E. Desai Boström. JAMA Psychiatry, online 24 May 2023, doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2023.1390.
Fewer suicides among boys in regions with more bipolar diagnoses
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Scientists find first evidence for new superconducting state in Ising superconductor
In a ground-breaking experiment, scientists from the University of Groningen, together with colleagues from the Dutch universities of Nijmegen and Twente and the Harbin Institute of Technology (China), have discovered the existence of a superconductive state that was first predicted in 2017. They present evidence for a special variant of the FFLO superconductive state on 24 May in the journal Nature. This discovery could have significant applications, particularly in the field of superconducting electronics. The lead author of the paper is Professor Justin Ye, who heads the Device Physics of Complex Materials group at the University of Groningen. Ye and his team have ...
Where do our limbs come from?
For Immediate Release Contact: Mark Couch, 303-724-5377, email@example.com Where Do Our Limbs Come From? AURORA, Colo. (May 24, 2023) – An international collaboration that includes scientists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine has uncovered new clues about the origin of paired appendages – a major evolutionary step that remains unresolved and highly debated. The researchers describe their study in an article published today in the journal Nature. “This has become ...
In resistance training, focusing on load or number of repetitions leads to same muscle growth
Which kind of resistance training promotes more muscle growth: low load with many repetitions or high load with fewer repetitions? According to a study conducted at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in São Paulo state, Brazil, it makes no difference. The study lasted eight weeks and involved 18 volunteers in two different training protocols. One group performed high-load (HL) exercises with fewer repetitions, while the other did low-load (LL) exercises with more repetitions. Muscle mass was measured in the first and last exercise sessions. A comparison of the two groups did not show any difference in muscle growth or metabolic stress, measured in an ...
Why do some long Covid patients continue to have difficulty exercising?
While some patients recover from the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection, others have experienced the aftereffects of COVID-19 long after the initial infection. One of these long COVID symptoms is reduced exercise capacity. But questions remain about the mechanisms underlying why some COVID patients continue to experience diminished exercise capacity while others recover without this condition. In a study recently published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, a team of researchers from UC San Francisco found that lower than expected exercise capacity was common ...
AI used to advance drug delivery system for glaucoma and other chronic diseases
Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have used artificial intelligence models and machine-learning algorithms to successfully predict which components of amino acids that make up therapeutic proteins are most likely to safely deliver therapeutic drugs to animal eye cells. The project, a collaboration with researchers from the University of Maryland, holds promise for advancing new and more tolerable drug treatments for common chronic blinding eye diseases, including glaucoma and macular degeneration, which affect 3 million and about 20 million people in the United States, respectively. Current drug therapies ...
Epigenetic profiling identifies potential COPD treatment targets
Impaired function of lung fibroblast is considered causative for symptoms of the incurable lung disease COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Using high-resolution epigenetic profiling, German and British scientists have now identified potential targets for COPD treatment. The team detected early epigenetic changes in the genome of COPD fibroblasts, providing new insights into the disease pathogenesis and potential therapeutic avenues. COPD, affecting approximately 600 million people globally, is characterized by chronic inflammation, progressive airway narrowing, and alveolar destruction. Despite its global prevalence, ...
CHOP researchers comprehensively assess the safety of using your head in youth soccer
Philadelphia, May 24, 2023 – Repeatedly heading a soccer ball has been previously associated with negative long-term brain health for professional players. However, in a new study from researchers at the Minds Matter Concussion Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a small number of repeated soccer headers equivalent to a throw-in did not cause immediate neurophysiological deficits for teens, suggesting that limited soccer heading exposure in youth sports may not result in irreversible harm if players are properly trained. The ...
Case study reveals potentially lethal side effects of lecanemab for treatment of Alzheimer's disease
Amsterdam, May 24, 2023 – In a noteworthy case study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease investigators report autopsy findings in a 65-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who received three open label infusions of the experimental anti-amyloid beta (Aβ) antibody drug lecanemab. Four days after the last infusion, she experienced stroke symptoms and died several days later due to multifocal intracerebral hemorrhage despite attempts at therapeutic intervention. Neuropathologic findings reflected ...
How can universities better understand students’ experiences of violence and victimisation?
Researchers from City, University of London, in collaboration with the University of Surrey, De Montfort University, Universities UK (UUK) and the National Centre (NatCen) for Social Research have conducted the first pilot study into students’ experiences of all forms of violence and victimisation at UK universities. The Violence at University project, led by Dr Carrie-Anne Myers, Reader in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at City, aimed to investigate whether an effective tool could be developed for tracking when, where and how incidents take place. Tackling violence and harassment has been high on universities’ agenda for several years. Hate crime has ...
Use of AI: Placebo effect increases risk-taking
Human augmentation technologies refer to technological aids that enhance human abilities. They include things like exoskeletons, but also augmented reality headsets. A study at the Chair of Human-Centered Ubiquitous Media at LMU has now shown that users have high expectations of the effects of these technologies. As soon as they believe that AI is enhancing their cognitive abilities, they increase their risk-taking. And they do this independently of whether the AI is actually assisting them. “The hype around AI applications affects the expectations of users. This can lead to riskier behavior,” says Steeven Villa, doctoral researcher ...