Link discovered between bipolar disorder, hypertension

A researcher at MSU has found a link between bipolar disorder and hypertension, which he said could help the treatment for both ailments.

Dale D’Mello, an associate professor in the MSU Department of Psychiatry, said patients with bipolar disorder tend to suffer from a higher rate of hypertension, obesity, diabetes and more manic episodes than normal patients. Because of the correlation, doctors could better treat patients with hypertension and bipolar disorder by treating their high blood pressure, stress and diet, D’Mello said.

“This is an ongoing quest to discover the problems of the body and the mind,” D’Mello said.

“Finding out whether or not people with bipolar disorder are significantly different, concerning the prevalence of hypertension.”

In his research, D’Mello analyzed about 100 people that suffered from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or from manic depressive episodes, he said. By finding a link between hypertension and bipolar disorder, D’Mello said the way doctors approach treatment could drastically change.

“This research can change our direction of treatment,” D’Mello said. “The future (in treatment) lies in looking closer to underlying factors of mania and hypertension.”

Patients with bipolar disorder typically are treated with mood stabilizing prescriptions and not changes with ways of life, such as diet, said Daniel Yohanna, an associate professor and adult section chief of the University of Chicago Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience.

“Patients are treated with mood stabilizers and antimanic agents and antidepressants,” Yohanna said. “Both medical and psychosocial treatments are used to improve a patient’s life, job, social life. It’s support and help to manage the disease.”

Bipolar disorder is a serious affliction for many people in the U.S., said Marshall Burns, a spokesman for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Many people who use the hotline have had medical and psychiatric help in the past, and Burns said one way to help them overcome bipolar disorder is to help them cope with those episodes.

“Sometimes people need an extra push to get them through an episode” he said. “(We encourage) a caller to go for a walk, call a friend, or (let) them vent and identify what the real problem is.”

By Ashley Brown

Provided by ArmMed Media