o had no family history of the disease, these patients had more severe prior illness with earlier onset and more hospitalizations, suicide attempts, alcohol abuse and anxiety disorders. The group's average improvement on the CGI was poorer than the other group's, despite being on more medications (3.1 on average) and having been treated for a similar period of time (just under two years).
"When compared to students without a first-degree family history, students with a family history appear to be associated with more severe prior illness, and a poorer longitudinal course," said Ketter. "Further studies are needed to explore these preliminary observations."
Ketter, who received support for his work from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Holland Foundation, is continuing studies on the disorder and plans to investigate the use of brain imaging to predict patients' responses to medications and the use of psychotherapies as alternatives to mood stabilizers.
Ketter's co-investigators in this chart review include Cecylia Nowakowska, MD, PhD; Anna Sapozhnikova; Rebecca Chandler; Andrea Alarcon; Po Wang, MD; and Wendy Marsh, MD.
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Contact: Michelle Brandt
Stanford University Medical Center
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