Bi-Polar Condition

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Bi-Polar Condition

Postby palmspringsbum » Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:04 pm

The Journal of Psychopharmacology wrote:Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 293-300 (2005)
DOI: 10.1177/0269881105051541
© 2005 British Association for Psychopharmacology

<span class=postbigbold>Cannabinoids in bipolar affective disorder: a review and discussion of their therapeutic potential</span>

<table class=posttable align=right width=300><tr><td class=postcell><img class="postimg" width="300" src="" alt="Queen Victoria - my half 5th cousin 5 times removed."></a></tr></td></table>C. H. Ashton

P. B. Moore

P. Gallagher

A. H. Young

<span class=postbold>Department of Psychiatry, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK</span>

Bipolar affective disorder is often poorly controlled by prescribed drugs. Cannabis use is common in patients with this disorder and anecdotal reports suggest that some patients take it to alleviate symptoms of both mania and depression. We undertook a literature review of cannabis use by patients with bipolar disorder and of the neuropharmacological properties of cannabinoids suggesting possible therapeutic effects in this condition. No systematic studies of cannabinoids in bipolar disorder were found to exist, although some patients claim that cannabisrelieves symptoms of mania and/or depression. The cannabinoids 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) may exert sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic and anticonvulsant effects. Pure synthetic cannabinoids, such as dronabinol and nabilone and specific plant extracts containing THC, CBD, or amixture of the two in known concentrations, are available and can be delivered sublingually. Controlled trials of these cannabinoids as adjunctive medication in bipolar disorder are now indicated.

<span class=postbold>See Also:</span>

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You don't have to be bipolar to be a genius – but it helps

Postby palmspringsbum » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:11 am

The Independent wrote:You don't have to be bipolar to be a genius – but it helps

<span class=postbigbold>Study reveals that high-achievers are far more likely to be manic depressives</span>

The Independent
By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Scientists have for the first time found powerful evidence that genius may be linked with madness.

Speculation that the two may be related dates back millennia, and can be found in the writings of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Aristotle once claimed that "there is no great genius without a mixture of madness", but the scientific evidence for an association has been weak – until now.

A study of more than 700,000 adults showed that those who scored top grades at school were four times more likely to develop bipolar disorder than those with average grades.

The link was strongest among those who studied music or literature, the two disciplines in which genius and madness are most often linked in historical records. The study was conducted by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, with colleagues from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, affects about 1 per cent of the population and is characterised by swings in mood from elation (mania) to depression. During the manic phase there can be feelings of inflated self-esteem, verging on grandiosity, racing thoughts, restlessness and insomnia.

The 19th-century author Edgar Allen Poe, who is thought to have suffered from manic depression, once wrote: "Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence..."

In recent years psychoanalysts, psychiatrists and psychologists have argued that genius and madness are linked to underlying degenerative neurological disorders. The problem has been that both genius and severe mental illness are rare, and high intelligence or achievement is subjectively defined. Claims about the link have been based on historical studies of creative individuals which are highly selective, subject to bias and rely on retrospective assessments of their mental state.

The study, led by James MacCabe, a senior lecturer in psychiatric epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry, compared the final school exam grades of all Swedish pupils aged 15-16 from 1988 to 1997, with hospital records showing admissions for bipolar disorder up to age 31. The fourfold increased risk of the condition for pupils with excellent exam results remained after researchers controlled for parental education or income. The findings are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. They suggest that mania may improve intellectual and academic performance, accounting for the link with "genius". People with mild mania are often witty and inventive, appearing to have "enhanced access to vocabulary, memory and other cognitive resources". They tend to have exaggerated emotional responses which may "facilitate their talent in art, literature or music". In a manic state individuals have "extraordinary levels of stamina and a tireless capacity for sustained concentration".

Dr MacCabe said: "We found that achieving an A-grade is associated with increased risk for bipolar disorder, particularly in humanities and, to a lesser extent, in science subjects. A-grades in Swedish and music had particularly strong associations, supporting the literature which consistently finds associations between linguistic and musical creativity and bipolar disorder."

School pupils with low exam grades also had an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder later in life. The researchers suggest there may be two distinct groups of people with the condition – high achievers, in whom mania raises their game – and low achievers, especially those with low scores in sport and handicrafts indicating poor motor skills, who may have "subtle neurodevelopmental abnormalities".

The link was stronger in men than in women, but the difference was not statistically significant, Dr MacCabe said: "Although having A-grades increases your chance of bipolar disorder in later life, we should remember that the majority of people with A-grades enjoy good mental health."

<span class="postbold">Tortured talents: Suspected sufferers</span>

Vincent Van Gogh

Throughout his life, the artist showed signs of mental instability. Various biographies describe him as suffering from epilepsy, depression, psychotic attacks, delusions, and bipolar disorder. In December 1888, he experienced a psychotic episode in which he threatened the life of Gauguin, his fellow artist and a personal friend, and cut off a piece of his own left ear before offering it as a gift to a prostitute.

Sylvia Plath

The poet handled very painful and intense subjects such as suicide, self-loathing, shock treatment and dysfunctional relationships. Since the day she died – by thrusting her head into a gas oven – readers and scholars have tried to unlock the enigma of her suicide. Her unabridged journals lend credence to the theory that she suffered from mental illness (probably bipolar disorder).

Stephen Fry

Fry spoke about his disorder in the BBC 2 documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. "It's infuriating I know, but I do get a huge buzz out of the manic side. I rely on it to give my life a sense of adventure, and I think most of the good about me has developed as a result of my mood swings. It's tormented me all my life with the deepest of depressions, while giving me the energy and creativity that perhaps has made my career."


In a May 1996 interview with Live! magazine, Sting was quoted as saying: "During that period with The Police, I was suicidal. My first marriage and my relationship with the other members of the band was collapsing. I was manic-depressive... I was out to lunch." However, it is unclear whether he was genuinely bipolar or using the term manic depressive as a figure of speech.

Virginia Woolf

After finishing her first novel, The Voyage Out, in 1913, she suffered a severe breakdown. "I married, and then my brains went up in a shower of fireworks. As an experience, madness is terrific... and not to be sniffed at, and in its lava I still find most of the things I write about. It shoots out of one, everything shaped, final, not in mere driblets as sanity does."
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Cannabis improves cognitive functioning in bipolar disorder

Postby palmspringsbum » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:20 am wrote:2010 Aug; 40 ( 8 ) : 1337-47. Epub 2009 Nov 6.

Opposite relationships between cannabis use and neurocognitive functioning in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Ringen PA, Vaskinn A, Sundet K, Engh JA, Jónsdóttir H, Simonsen C, Friis S, Opjordsmoen S, Melle I, Andreassen OA.

Institute of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, N-0318 Oslo, Norway.

<span class="postbold">Abstract</span>

BACKGROUND: Cannabis use is associated with altered neurocognitive functioning in severe mental disorders, but data are still inconclusive and there are no studies of bipolar disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between cannabis use and neurocognition in bipolar disorder compared with schizophrenia in a naturalistic setting.

METHOD: A total of 133 patients with bipolar disorder and 140 patients with schizophrenia underwent neuropsychological assessments and clinical characterization including measures of substance use. Relationships between cannabis users and neurocognitive function were explored in the two diagnostic groups. Possible interactions between diagnosis and cannabis use were investigated, and findings were controlled for possible confounders.

RESULTS: In bipolar disorder subjects, cannabis use was associated with better neurocognitive function, but the opposite was the case for the schizophrenia subjects. There was a statistically significant interaction effect of diagnosis and cannabis use on focused attention (p=0.019), executive functioning (verbal fluency--set shifting) (p=0.009), logical memory-learning (p=0.007) and on logical memory-recall (p=0.004). These differences in neurocognitive function could not be explained by putative confounders.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that cannabis use may be related to improved neurocognition in bipolar disorder and compromised neurocognition in schizophrenia. The results need to be replicated in independent samples, and may suggest different underlying disease mechanisms in the two disorders.

PMID: 19891810 [PubMed - in process]
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