Unesc researcher warns of the importance of diagnosis and treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Marked by mood swings, which fluctuate between episodes of depression and hypomania and/or mania, Bipolar Disorder affects between 1% to 2% of people worldwide, equivalent to 140 million people, according to data from the World Organization for Health. Health (WHO), and is one of the most serious mental disorders in existence.

On World Bipolar Disorder Day, remembered this Wednesday, the 30th, Professor Dr. Samira Valvassoriwho coordinates the Research Group on Bipolar Disorder, from the Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, from the Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences (PPGCS) at Unesc, talks about the importance of stimulating the search for treatment, minimizing the effects of the disorder and promoting emotional balance.

The researcher says that the disorder affects both men and women and can manifest itself especially at the turn of adolescence to adulthood with triggers or first episodes. According to her, the disorder is characterized by major changes in mood in which the patient experiences mood swings, which revolve around episodes of mania and depression.

Mixed states sometimes occur when the patient has both mania and depression on the same day. Mania is characterized by euphoria, hyperactivity, grandiosity, overspending, and risky behavior. Depression is characterized by lack of pleasure, deep sadness, loss of sleep and other symptoms. “It is important to emphasize that to make the diagnosis, these mood changes need to be important enough to harm the individual’s social life, work or family life”, he points out.

According to Samira, the exact cause of bipolar disorder is not known. What you have are hypotheses. “The development of this medical condition is believed to be influenced by a combination of factors such as genetics, lifestyle habits and environment. However, it is also assumed that not every person who has the genetic substrate will develop the condition and that the environment will contribute to its development”, he analyzes.

The doctor professor also emphasizes the importance of the help of professionals for the diagnosis and treatment, allowing him to have a normal life. Therefore, the diagnosis is made through a clinical interview with a psychiatrist and the treatment relies on drugs that act as mood stabilizers, preventing new episodes of mood. Treatment should also include therapy with a psychologist who, among other things, helps the patient understand when they will have new mood episodes, how medications work and the importance of treatment.

In addition to treatment with a psychiatrist and psychologist, professionals in the area of ​​Physical Education and Nutrition should also be included in the multidisciplinary team for the treatment of Bipolar Disorder. Studies show that lifestyle changes, such as stopping the consumption of psychoactive substances such as caffeine, amphetamines, alcohol and drugs, developing healthy eating and sleeping habits, and reducing stress levels substantially help with treatment.

early diagnosis

According to Samira, early diagnosis is important to prevent physical and cognitive deterioration associated with the disorder, in addition to improving the person’s quality of life. “Studies show that there is a progression of the disease, which leads to the worsening of mood episodes”, analyzes Samira, also noting that prejudice is among the main difficulties faced by people with bipolar disorder.

According to her, the dream of any researcher is to discover a more effective diagnosis. “We currently have the clinical interview. However, there is no laboratory test for the diagnosis of bipolarity, but in order to find out, we need to know which specific pathophysiological changes occur in this clinical condition. The hope is that with each passing day we are evolving in research”, he projects.

Search in Criciúma

Working for 20 years in pre-clinical research with experimental animals and in clinical research with patients, the group, the first in the world to have managed to develop an animal model of bipolar disorder, in which the same animal exhibits both depressive and manic-like behaviors , aims to understand aspects of the pathophysiology of the disorder and test new drugs.

“In the pre-clinical part, we sought to test substances with a mood-stabilizing potential. With patients, however, we seek to understand how changes at a cellular and behavioral level are interconnected”, says Samira.

The professor also explains that the group composed of professors and master’s, doctoral and scientific initiation students is mapping the Health Units of the Municipality of Criciúma, the Psychosocial Care Centers (CAPS) and the private clinics of the city with the intention to assess the number of people with bipolar disorder in the city. “This research should be ready at the beginning of next year and will help in the diagnosis and treatment, which is very important and fundamental for the population”, she concludes.

Collaboration: Daniela Savi/Unesc

About Jenni Smith

She's our PC girl, so anything is up to her. She is also responsible for the videos of Play Crazy Game, as well as giving a leg in the news.

Check Also

GDF restricts visits to patients hospitalized with Covid in ICUs

The Health Department of the Federal District (SES-DF) once again restricted visits to patients with …