Case series of diagnostic shift from bipolar disorder to schizoaffective disorder
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OBJECTIVE: To describe three cases of diagnostic shift from bipolar I disorder (BD) to schizoaffective disorder (SAD). METHODS: BD patients were clinically assessed and followed up in a mood disorder program. A questionnaire was applied to assess clinical and socio-demographic characteristics, and a Structured Clinical Interview (SCID-I) was conducted. RESULTS: We identified three patients with diagnosis conversion to SAD from 2005 to 2016. The mean time between BD diagnosis and the diagnostic shift to SAD was 9 years. CONCLUSIONS: Psychotic symptoms may become persistent, chronic and unrelated to the presence of mood episodes many years after the beginning of BD. Psychiatrists should be aware of this and reassess the diagnosis during the longitudinal course of BD, especially in those patients who present psychotic symptoms.
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