New study highlights impact of bipolar disorder on society

Berlin, Germany -- 4 July 2001 - A new report presented here today at the World Congress of Biological Psychiatry shows that bipolar disorder costs the UK more than 2 billion annually. Up to 85 percent of these costs are associated with loss of productivity due to unemployment, nearly 10 percent are due to absenteeism at work, and just over 5 percent is driven by suicide among this population. Individuals with bipolar disorder suffer from excessive, disruptive swings in mood - from manic episodes, marked by impaired concentration, "racing thoughts" and irritability, to periods of deep depression. The manic phase is often accompanied by an unrealistic belief in one's own abilities; reckless behaviour, such as promiscuity and spending sprees; hallucinations or delusions; substance abuse; and aggression. These symptoms often lead to absenteeism from work, loss of employment, and even suicide; between 25 and 50 per cent of bipolar disorder sufferers attempt suicide world-wide, and 10 to 15 per cent succeed each year. The research on what this means in cost to UK society was conducted by Catalyst, a health-economics consultancy. However, while the actual monetary cost may vary from country to country, it is believed that the basic socioeconomic consequences of the disease are universal.

Risperdal (risperidone) Found to be Effective for Treatment of Bipolar Mania In the UK and throughout Europe, conventional antipsychotics have been one of the most common types of medications used to treat bipolar disorder. However, these drugs are associated with severe side effects that often cause patients to discontinue therapy. Their symptoms then re-emerge, putting their lives at risk. "A manic episode is one of the distressing, debilitating conditions of the disorder, and can lead to very harmful consequences for patients and those around them," comments Professor Eduard Vieta, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Barcelona. "Risperidone has been

Contact: Andrew Cooper

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