August 7, 2007
Modafinil (more commonly known as Provigil), a drug approved for use in sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and shift work disorder, appears to be helpful with bipolar depression.
The article notes that the manufacturer supplied both the modafinil and the matching placebo. I wonder how much placebo costs? Are there places that manufacture brand-name placebo? I mean, there must be, for researchers to run studies.
July 9, 2007
Based on two surveys 11 years apart headed up by Dag Neckelmann of Haukeland University Hospital in Norway. Reuters article. Via Spikol. Insomnia at time 1 predicted anxiety disorder at time 2, but not depression, although depression and insomnia co-occurred.
I thought the fact that it wasn’t significantly predicting depression (despite predicting anxiety) was pretty interesting, since insomnia and depression are widely known to be related (and anxiety and depression can both co-occur and each cause the other). Maybe insomnia is a byproduct of early anxiety that isn’t yet diagnosable? Maybe it’s a version of the same phenomenon where lack of sleep can make bipolar people hypo/manic?
June 25, 2007
Mice engineered to lack a specific gene showed behaviors similar to human mania in a study funded in part by NIMH; they were hyperactive, slept less, appeared less depressed and anxious, and craved sugar, cocaine and pleasure stimulation. The rodents’ behavior was more normal after lithium treatment or restoration of a functioning CLOCK protein, which the knocked-out gene codes for.
The article says this is similar to human mania, and it sounds like it’s similar enough to tell us useful stuff, although the mice don’t sound bipolar, just, as they say, behaving similarly to some aspects of manic humans.
The CLOCK protein is involved in circadian rhythms. And so here is some interesting stuff on circadian rhythms in bipolar disorder, and on how lithium works, from one of my favorite bipolar disorder sites, Jim Phelps’ Psych Education. Lots of science, lots of high-level information that isn’t very widely spread, and an excellent site for info on bipolar II in general and on anxiety in bipolar.