Bipolar disorder is a mood (affective) disorder characterized by the occurrence of
alternating feelings of excitement (mania) and depression. It is a common, but serious
condition, and potentially life-threatening. Patients are considered to have a rapid
cycling form of bipolar disorder if they experience four or more episodes of hypomania (mild
degree of mania), mania, and/or depression. Approximately 20% of the patients in bipolar
clinics have the rapid cycling form of the disorder. Therefore it can be said that RCBD is
not a rare condition and that it can severely impair a patient. These reasons alone justify
studying RCBD. However, researchers also believe that information gathered by studying
patients with RCBD can be used while studying other patients with different forms of bipolar
The purpose of this study is to screen patients diagnosed as having rapid cycling bipolar
disorder to see if they fit the criteria for the diagnosis and to see if they would be
interested in participating in other research studies.
Patients will undergo diagnostic interviews, physical examination, routine blood tests, EKG
(electrocardiogram), and complete self-rating forms as part of the screening process.
The purpose of this protocol is to allow for the medical and psychiatric screening of
patients with rapid cycling bipolar disorder in order to ascertain (1) that they fit the
criteria for the diagnosis; and (2) that they are interested in participating in one of our
research projects. Patients will undergo diagnostic interviews, complete self-rating forms,
and have a physical examination, routine blood tests, and an electrocardiogram.
Must be currently in treatment with a psychiatrist.
Subjects must not have borderline or antisocial personality disorders, must not meet
criteria for substance abuse or dependence within the past six months.
Subjects must not have significant hepatic, renal, endocrine, or cardiovascular disease.
Subjects must not be pregnant.