Neuroprogression and illness trajectories in bipolar disorder Academic Article uri icon

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  • INTRODUCTION: The longitudinal course of bipolar disorder is highly variable, and a subset of patients seems to present a progressive course associated with brain changes and functional impairment. Areas covered: We discuss the theory of neuroprogression in bipolar disorder. This concept considers the systemic stress response that occurs within mood episodes and late-stage deficits in functioning and cognition as well as neuroanatomic changes. We also discuss treatment refractoriness that may take place in some cases of bipolar disorder. We searched PubMed for articles published in any language up to June 4th, 2016. We found 315 abstracts and included 87 studies in our review. Expert commentary: We are of the opinion that the use of specific pharmacological strategies and functional remediation may be potentially useful in bipolar patients at late-stages. New analytic approaches using multimodal data hold the potential to help in identifying signatures of subgroups of patients who will develop a neuroprogressive course.


  • Kapczinski, Natália S
  • Mwangi, Benson
  • Cassidy, Ryan M
  • Librenza-Garcia, Diego
  • Bermudez, Mariane Bagatin
  • Kauer-Sant’anna, Márcia
  • Kapczinski, Flavio
  • Passos, Ives Cavalcante

publication date

  • March 4, 2017