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A pilot study differentiating recurrent major depression from bipolar disorder cycling on the depressive pole

Authors Hinz M, Stein A, Uncini T

Published 9 November 2010 Volume 2010:6(1) Pages 741—747

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S14353

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Marty Hinz1, Alvin Stein2, Thomas Uncini3
1Clinical Research, NeuroResearch Clinics, Inc., Cape Coral, FL, USA; 2Stein Orthopedic Associates, Plantation, FL, USA; 3DBS Labs, Duluth, MN, USA

Purpose: A novel method for differentiating and treating bipolar disorder cycling on the depressive pole from patients who are suffering a major depressive episode is explored in this work. To confirm the diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 bipolar disorder, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria require that at least one manic or hypomanic episode be identified. History of one or more manic or hypomanic episodes may be impossible to obtain, representing a potential blind spot in the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Many bipolar patients who cycle primarily on the depressive side for many years carry a misdiagnosis of recurrent major depression, leading to treatment with antidepressants that achieve little or no relief of symptoms. This article discusses a novel approach for diagnosing and treating patients with bipolar disorder cycling on the depressive pole versus patients with recurrent major depression.
Patients and methods: Patients involved in this study were formally diagnosed with recurrent major depression under DSM-IV criteria and had no medical history of mania or hypomania to support the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. All patients had suffered multiple depression treatment failures in the past, when evaluated under DSM-IV guidelines, secondary to administration of antidepressant drugs and/or serotonin with dopamine amino acid precursors.
Results: This study contained 1600 patients who were diagnosed with recurrent major depression under the DSM-IV criteria. All patients had no medical history of mania or hypomania. All patients experienced no relief of depression symptoms on level 3 amino acid dosing values of the amino acid precursor dosing protocol. Of 1600 patients studied, 117 (7.3%) nonresponder patients were identified who experienced no relief of depression symptoms when the serotonin and dopamine amino acid precursor dosing values were adjusted to establish urinary serotonin and urinary dopamine levels in the Phase III therapeutic ranges. All of the 117 nonresponders who achieved no relief of depression symptoms were continued on this amino acid dosing value, and a mood-stabilizing drug was started. At this point, complete relief of depression symptoms, under evaluation with DSM-IV criteria, was noted in 114 patients within 1–5 days. With further dose adjustment of the mood-stabilizing drug, the remaining three nonresponders achieved relief of depression symptoms.
Conclusion: Resolution of depression symptoms with the addition of a mood-stabilizing drug in combination with proper levels of serotonin and dopamine amino acid precursors was the basis for a clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder cycling on the depressive pole.

Keywords: depression, bipolar, serotonin, dopamine, mania, hypomania

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